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How can you determine if a patient has capacity to accept treatment?

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Article

Determining capacity to consent to treatment

Author

Helen Taylor is programme leader: professional development for health sciences, senior lecturer health law, the University of Worcester

 

 

THIS ARTICLE WILL TELL YOU ABOUT

  • What is meant by patients’ right to choose
  • Why it is essential to gain consent
  • Examples of court cases around medical consent

 

 

YOU WOULD BE LIKELY TO REFERENCE THIS ARTICLE IF YOU WERE RESEARCHING:

This article would be helpful if you were writing an essay about the mental capacity act or about anything to do with consent – it gives a clear overview of what consent actually is and how it relates to healthcare.

IN WHAT SITUATIONS WILL THIS ARTICLE BE USEFUL FOR ME?

You need to know about consent to work in healthcare. This article helps you to understand what it is, when you need to obtain it and why it is so important. It gives examples of situations when consent must be gained that you might not have considered.

 

QUESTIONS FOR YOUR MENTOR/TUTOR

  • In what situations should you assess capacity?
  • How can be sure a patient has the capacity to make a decision?

 

STUDENT NT DECODER

Capacity
Having capacity refers to being able to fully understand, weigh up and make decisions for yourself. A person may have capacity to make certain decisions, but lack capacity in other areas, so capacity needs to be assessed for each individual decision.

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