A former prima ballerina was told this week by the Supreme Court that it was acceptable that her council revoke her night-time carer so that she could continue to in her own home with dignity. Four out of the five Supreme Court judges ruled that her local council, Kensington and Chelsea, had no legal obligation to provide a home help.
When her night-time carer was revoked, wheelchair-bound Elaine McDonald was told that instead of being helped to go to the toilet through the night, she could simply use incontinence pads through the night even though she is not incontinent. Why should someone who is in control of her bodily functions be expected to behave as if she can’t?
Sixty-eight year old Miss McDonald usually needs the toilet three times per night and up until recently she had been supplied with a social worker to help her access a commode. They withdrew this service in order to save £22,000 a year.
With the support of the Equalities Commission, Miss McDonald challenged the decision under the Human Rights Act which is meant to guarantee everyone dignity and a right to life.
I believe the ruling to allow the council to revoke night-time care leaves councils open to revoke all care. Are we going to have a nation of people allowed to lie in their own faeces? Adults with, effectively, nappy rash? Disabled and/or elderly people with urinary tract infections (which may lead to kidney problems) because they’ve done all they can to resist using incontinence pads?
Miss McDonald contributed to the state throughout her working life. It is a disgrace that the state she has contributed to has now condemned this woman to lie in her own filth. Instead of fighting the case and paying a barrister, why not employ a carer?
I hate to sound all ‘Daily Mail’ but why is it that the government are willing to hand out methadone to drug addicts but won’t provide pensions to government workers or care to elderly people who have contributed throughout their lives?
I wonder if the four judges who voted in favour of leaving Miss McDonald without her night-time carer would feel differently if they were asked to lie in their own waste until the council deigned to send in a carer? It hardly sounds dignified to me.
No wonder people spend the money going to Dignitas if this is the alternative.