Mr Morris is an 86 year old man who lives alone. He’s always ignored medical care, has never seen his GP, refused help when he cared for his wife before she died and lives with painful leg ulcers which could easily be treated.
After recovering from a fall and heart failure he wants to be discharged from hospital and go home. But his daughter and son-in-law report that his home is dirty, he is a danger to himself and can’t look after himself.
Mr Morris wants them to provide all his care but they live hundreds of miles away and have another sick relative to look after. They want him to go into residential care and are upset that medical staff are considering sending him home. After a diagnosis of moderate dementia can he be discharged home?
- Does Mr Morris have the capacity to make the decision about going home?
- If he doesn’t then how should his best interests be worked out and how should the interests of his family be weighed against his own?
- This programme explores the issues raised for many people with ageing parents and what is the best way of caring for them in their old age.
- Dr Deborah Bowman is a Senior Lecturer in Medical Ethics and Law at St George's Hospital University of London.
- Dr Julian Hughes is consultant in old age psychiatry at Newcastle Hospitals NHS trust and a member of their clinical ethics committee.
- Professor Tony Holland is a psychiatrist from Cambridge University with specialist knowledge of the Mental Capacity Act.