Including the notion of empowerment in any discussion on health-related matters suggests, loud and clear, that an individual or a group [Page 95]is considered to be, or potentially to be, disempowered. This is clearly the case in terms of people with learning disabilities and empowerment is a major thrust of many professionals and voluntary organisations who work with this vulnerable group. Empowerment in this context is closely related to protection. The term empowerment is more difficult to define as it embraces a number of concepts. When we think of empowerment the terms assertiveness, independence, taking control and therefore maximising quality of life are evident. This is supported by Baistow (1995) who writes, ‘the process by which individuals, groups and/or communities become able to take control ...