January 24, 2020

Should we keep someone safe, even if it makes them more miserable?

Clara Glynn

Radio drama scriptMore Than Kissing, 2020

Sex is a human right, part of what it means to be a fully alive human being. But children aren’t allowed to have sex, because they don’t have the capacity to consent. But what about the learning disabled? Is the right to have sex independent of intellectual ability? Can you consent to sex even if you don’t fully understand what it might involve? What if you might get yourself into dangerous situations where you’re vulnerable to abuse? In this court-room drama the judge must make a choice between failing to protect Harry from potential abuse, and depriving him of a crucial part of a fully lived life. This is a hugely important issue faced by a small but significant minority. I’ve met and talked to those involved, read accounts of cases, and attended court to make sure I’m accurately representing what would happen in the Court of Protection. I think we should know about it. In addition I believe this question ripples outwards, and has resonance for everyone. We all want to protect the people we love from harm, and learning when to step away, and let them swim in dangerous waters, is a challenge for all of us.