The Mental Capacity Act 2007 and capacity assessments: a guide for the non-psychiatrist.
Clin Med. 2008 Feb;8(1):65-9
Authors: Mukherjee E, Foster R
The Mental Capacity Act 2007 affects doctors in all areas of practice. The act recognises that capacity is a 'balance of probability rather than certainty', and based on this it attempts to 'maximise capacity' in an individual, so to facilitate a decision-making process. The act comprises five key principles as well as a test to determine lack of capacity. It also alludes to areas such as consent by proxy, restraint and capacity, and regulations regarding clinical research. This paper provides a brief background into the fundamental tenets of the act as well as a simple scheme for assessing capacity in hospital inpatients. It also looks at what physicians should be aware of and what will be required of them, particularly from a medico-legal perspective.
PMID: 18335673 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]