A one day seminar on the meaning and practice of supported decision-making is being held by the Centre for Medical Law and Ethics at King’s College London on Friday 2 September. Registration to attend in person is now closed but it is possible to attend (for free) online, by registering here.
The concept of supported decision-making is gaining prominence in public policy as a way to enable greater autonomy for people with intellectual or psychosocial disabilities. However, questions about its interpretation and implementation abound, with different legal perspectives envisaging ‘support’ in importantly different ways.
This conference will bring together academics and policy makers to consider the meaning, practice and implications of the move to supported decision-making. The morning will be dedicated to issues such as: What is supported decision-making? What is the purpose of a human rights requirement for supported decision-making regimes? How can we understand supported decision-making, and legal capacity, on an equal basis with others when it comes to people with a disability that requires total support? What safeguards are needed to protect against abuse of support mechanisms? What do those who need support want from it?
The afternoon sessions will take these discussions forward into practice: What does supported decision-making look like in practice, from the perspective of the supported and the supporter? What needs to change if we are to move from substitute decision-making (and associated practices) to supported decision-making? What are the challenges in making this move, and how can they be overcome?
This event is supported by the Wellcome Trust, Mental Health and Justice Collaborative Award 203376/Z/16/Z.
(Full disclosure, I’ll be speaking on “Support beyond decision-making: the promise and pitfalls of advance choice documents for supporting the exercise of legal capacity”)