The Making Decisions Alliance consortium of charities is celebrating after its three-year struggle for new mental capacity legislation finally ended in success.
The coalition, which includes Turning Point, Age Concern, Mencap and the Alzheimer's Society, campaigned for the Mental Capacity Bill to give disabled people and those with mental illnesses the right to greater decision-making in their lives.
Many of the member charities had been campaigning for up to 12 years before the coalition was established to enable organisations to put their arguments to government more effectively.
The Mental Capacity Bill is due to come into force in 2007 and includes a number of amendments for which the Making Decisions Alliance lobbied.
Toby Williamson, co-chair of the alliance, said: "This Bill will give the 2 million people in England and Wales who lack capacity because of illness, injury or disability the rights they deserve."
The Bill will introduce for the first time the right for partners to be consulted by doctors about medical treatment for their loved ones.