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Carers can help alcoholic buy booze: agency

Carers can help alcoholic buy booze: agency

Published: 03 Apr 2012 11:30 GMT+02:00
Updated: 03 Apr 2012 11:30 GMT+02:00

Swedish home-help service workers have recently been instructed to assist a disabled man who suffers from alcohol addiction to purchase drink.

At a recent meeting by the ethical council of the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) it was decided that the reluctance of care workers to help a disabled alcoholic to buy drink is an infringement on his rights.

The middle-aged man in question suffers from stiff legs and a balance impairment, making it difficult for him to do his own shopping and perform chores around the flat.

He therefore receives home help service from the local authorities, who clean his flat, purchase his food and cigarettes, and spend some time with him every day.

However, the man also wants his care workers to purchase his alcohol, something some of them have so far felt reluctant to do, taking the matter to the ethical council for guidance.

Currently, the man makes his way to the alcohol shop himself when his abstinence becomes unbearable, but often falls over and injures himself on the way.

According to the council, staff says the man becomes difficult to handle when he doesn’t have access to drink, acting aggressively toward staff and letting his flat go to ruin.

When under the influence, however, he is calm and pleasant and in rather good spirits.

After deliberations, the council decided that it is not up to the local authorities to decide how the man chooses to live his life, and therefore they have no right to regulate his alcohol consumption.

Instead, their duty is to assist him in his day-to-day life – including the purchase of alcohol.

However, they also said that staff should keep a dialogue with the man of his life choices and the extent of his alcohol consumption.

They can then also bring to his attention the dilemma they face when asked to buy alcohol for someone already intoxicated.

Siren/The Local

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Your comments about this article

12:05 April 3, 2012 by JulieLou40
I understand this reasoning, even if it is going to work against the man. After all, able-bodied people have the right to go to the shops and purchase whatever they want, so why shouldn't this man have that right?

However, I would have thought this is where common sense comes into play. Even if it is playing "Big Brother" kind of thing, the guy clearly shouldn't be drinking to excess all the time. I suppose it's a question or morals v law. Legally he should be allowed to have the drink, but morally, it's not a good idea.
14:28 April 3, 2012 by Dazzler
Sorry but if he is on benefits, why the hell is the government paying for his cigarettes and booze. Sure he has a right to drink and smoke himself to death all he likes. But pay for it your goddamn self. I will never understand the people who think they are owed something. Shitty parasites.
20:34 April 3, 2012 by BackpackerKev
I am sure assisted suicide is also illegal. Buying alcohol is not an infringement of his human rights.

The man has a right to life and a quality of life which he can do without alcohol. he is a "disabled alcoholic" and so alternative care is required. Its called Enabling and should this man become ill or die due to excessive alcohol in his system I feel sorry for the careworked, who assisted in his death.

If this man was a heroin addict, is it still his human right for the care workers to purchase the drug?
11:48 April 4, 2012 by Da Goat
perhaps if he is given the chance to dry out his legs might not be so wobbly and then he will no longer need to waste the time and money of others!

they should get him OP rum and metho to drink so his problems will be solved!
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