Aged Care residents as ‘subjects with rights’ not ‘objects of care’

Anita Smith, Guardianship & Administration Board

 

Abstract

As the “protest generation”, baby-boomers will be more likely to assert legal rights in a care environment than earlier generations.  In addition, the rights of persons with dementia have been enhanced by Australia’s ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

That Convention demands that people with disabilities, such as dementia, are no longer treated as “objects” of charity, medical treatment and social protection but are viewed as “subjects” with rights, who are capable of claiming those rights and making decisions for their lives based on their free and informed consent as well as being active members of society.

This presentation will examine issues of secure care, administration of medication, restrictions on alcohol consumption and other issues that may arise from providing care to a more empowered resident.  It will also examine the kinds of expectations that are arising in enduring guardianships and the need for advance planning.

  • Why the presentation/topic will be of interest to Conference participants

It will provide a review of the legal issues surrounding secure care, administration of medication, restrictions on alcohol consumption and indicate where the appointment of substitute decision makers, such as guardians and administrators, might be required to protect the rights of residents, and protect a facility from legal challenges.

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