Thursday, 19 January 2017
The Mental Capacity Act 2005 – 5 Principles
The Mental Capacity Act 2005 is underpinned by five key principles (Section 1, MCA). It is useful to consider the principles chronologically: principles 1 to 3 will support the process before or at the point of determining whether someone lacks capacity. Once you’ve decided that capacity is lacking, use principles 4 and 5 to support the decision-making process.
Principle 1: A presumption of capacity
Every adult has the right to make his or her own decisions and must be assumed to have capacity to do so unless it is proved otherwise. This means that you cannot assume that someone cannot make a decision for themselves just because they have a particular medical condition or disability.
Principle 2: Individuals being supported to make their own decisions
A person must be given all practicable help before anyone treats them as not being able to make their own decisions. This means you should make every effort to encourage and support people to make the decision for themselves. If lack of capacity is established, it is still important that you involve the person as far as possible in making decisions.
Principle 3: Unwise decisions
People have the right to make decisions that others might regard as unwise or eccentric. You cannot treat someone as lacking capacity for this reason. Everyone has their own values, beliefs and preferences which may not be the same as those of other people.
Principle 4: Best interests
Anything done for or on behalf of a person who lacks mental capacity must be done in their best interests.
Principle 5: Less restrictive option
Someone making a decision or acting on behalf of a person who lacks capacity must consider whether it is possible to decide or act in a way that would interfere less with the person’s rights and freedoms of action, or whether there is a need to decide or act at all. Any intervention should be weighed up in the particular circumstances of the case.
To book our Mental Capacity Act Conference 2017, please follow this link here
With Guest Speakers
District Judge Anselm Eldergill
Dr Mervyn Eastman
Dr Rainer Kurtz
and Leigh Day Solicitors