Unable to carry out basic mechanics of reasoning, whether to employ flexibility of thought in responding to contrary evidence or concerns; to compare pros/ cons, advantages/ disadvantages or benefits/risks of the decision; or to reason in other ways. In other words, there is impairment in the various processes of reasoning.
The broad category of reasoning is a frequently used rationale in court practice, with subcategories of ‘flexible thinking’, ‘balancing pros and cons’, and other reasoning.
Inability example quote from court practice:
Flexible thinking: If [P} developed a fixed idea about a subject, it was very difficult for her to incorporate counterbalancing or conflicting information [i.e., P is impervious to evidence, unable to consider evidence to the contrary]
Balancing: She cannot at the moment weigh the evidence up, identifying the pros and cons of a particular course of treatment, or really think about it at all. He said that when confronted with the balancing exercise she simply becomes both distressed and disengaged.
Other reasoning: She acknowledged receiving letters from [Q]. But she became significantly distressed, thought-disordered and preoccupied when invited to consider whether she might wish to respond to those letters
Intact ability example quote from court practice:
Flexible thinking: [It is] not the case that [P} has undertaken the decision-making exercise in relation to dialysis solely on the basis of a concrete or ‘black and white’ view taken in respect of her prognosis but rather on the basis of placing in the balance many factors relevant to the decision
Balancing: [P] gave [Dr X] a clear indication that she could weigh up the positives and negatives of whether or not to engage in sexual behaviour
Other reasoning: After consideration, he suggested two solutions which may not be implementable but are reasonable alternatives to consider. In so doing, he demonstrates an ability to think systematically and problem solve.