Consultation: The ethics and law of linking benefit entitlements to treatment for obesity or substance dependence

Consultation closes: September 11, 2015.

The UK government has launched an independent review into the impact on employment outcomes of drug or alcohol addiction, and obesity, to be headed up by Dame Carol Black. Among the terms of reference of the review is an aim to:

  • Explore the support provided by the existing benefit system and the incentives/barriers created, taking full account of the opportunities presented by full delivery of Universal Credit. This includes considering the case for linking benefit entitlements to take up of appropriate treatment or support.

Unsurprisingly, this element of the review has attracted considerable media attention, with the head of the British Psychological Association, Professor Jamie Hacker Hughes, coming out strongly against the proposal.

As part of the review, a call for evidence is now open until September 11, 2015. Question seven of the consultation asks:

  • What are the legal, ethical and other implications of linking benefit entitlements to take up of appropriate treatment or support?
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