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McDonald case helps care plan disputes

20 May 2014

Failure to consider dignity can be a breach of human rights

Today in its ruling on the Mcdonald case (for background see http://disabilityrightsuk.org/mcdonald-v-united-kingdom)

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that the failure of local authorities to consider a person’s dignity can lead to a breach of their human rights under Article 8 respect for the Right to a Private Life.  Although the substantive case was lost the Court found that in cutting Ms McDonald’s care package without any reassessment between November 2008 and November 2009 was a breach of Article 8 and accordingly awarded her damages and costs.

Although the Court did not find the subsequent assessment unlawful it did take the view that such decisions need to take account of Article 8.

Sue Bott, Director of Policy and Development, Disability Rights UK comments:

“We are encouraged that the ECHR has taken the view that dignity and respect for a private life should be taken into account when the State is taking decisions regarding support to disabled people.  This sends out a helpful message to those challenging their care plans.  Local authorities must now balance decisions to make savings with the need to positively uphold an individual’s right to dignity, a private life and independence”.