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Understanding and using the Mental Capacity Act


I was agreeing with this author, until I reached the following: 'Mental capacity is tested by using a legal (not psychiatric) assessment described in sections 2 and 3 of the MCA.' Section 3 of the MCA, does not describe how to assess mental capacity - it describes how a patient who possesses mental capacity, consents to or refuses an offered treatment: this difference is subtle, but not insignificant ! I strongly like this: 'The legal criteria for a best-interests assessment are in section 4 of the act' I have argued with people, about this point - but the Act exists, it can only have been enacted to create law, and it does not 'point at some [vague] 'historical concept' of 'best interests'. So 'the meaning of the term best interests' must logically be 'mined' from section 4 of the Act (and not by looking at medical concepts around best interests, which pre-date the MCA). There doesn't seem to be anything else to comment on, in the piece above (in other words, so far as it goes, the rest also looks correct to me).

Posted date

16 May, 2014

Posted time

2:49 pm