Students Staff

22 April 2015

Workshop praised by health and social care practitioners

  • Whose life is it anyway? Practitioner workshop watch on Vimeo.

Those attending a special practitioner workshop organised by the Essex Autonomy Project are set to encourage colleagues to attend future events at the University of Essex as they feel the sessions are so insightful.

The event was organised under the title ‘Whose life is it anyway? Autonomy and the End of Life’ and was part of a week-long series of events organised to mark Essex’s contribution to vital debates around personal autonomy as part of its 50th anniversary celebrations.

The feedback from participants from health trusts and local authorities was exceptional. One attendee said: “Thank you for the wonderful opportunity to attend this workshop”

Another added: “This was an excellent training session which I will promote at work for colleagues to attend.”

The workshop was led by Professor Wayne Martin, Director of the Essex Autonomy Project and designed to help practitioners think through the incredibly difficult issues they face as they support people at the end of their lives.

He said: “It is fantastic for us to do these kinds of workshops. It is a chance to share our research with practitioners working in the field and to learn from them. In these sessions we were able to get a lot of immediate feedback about what people are doing on the frontline to respect autonomy in these end of life situations.”

Sessions included updates on recent research by the Maudsley Institute of Psychiatry and the Essex Autonomy Project on the factors that affect decision-making capacity, a review of existing practices around risk assessment and discussion around best-interests assessment in England and Wales including the impact of the 2013 Aintree case.

The Essex Autonomy Project is an interdisciplinary team of philosophers and legal experts helping and supporting policymakers, care workers, medical practitioners and legal professionals. The team has been investigating the ideal of self-determination across a number of fields including health care, care for the elderly, social care and psychiatric care.

The Project has provided guidance and training on dealing with the complex issues surrounding mental competence, and the capacity of vulnerable individuals to make decisions for themselves.

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