The Mental Capacity Act 2005 (‘MCA 2005’) provides a framework in England & Wales for deciding, for most purposes, whether a person over 16 has or lacks capacity to make a decision, including to consent to medical treatment. It also provides a framework for making decisions where a person does not have that capacity, based on the concept of best interests.
This website contains detailed, research-based, guidance about how to assess and determine capacity. It is aimed at professionals such as doctors and social workers. If you do not need this level of detail, but want on your own or someone else’s behalf to know more about the concept of capacity, you may want to have a look at the following resources:
- This video by Alex Ruck Keene, one of the project members, explaining the concept of capacity: Capacity – the key points – Mental Capacity Law and Policy
- The Code of Practice to the MCA 2005: Mental Capacity Act Code of Practice – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- The easy read version of the MCA 2005 prepared by Care England: Mental Capacity Act 2005: An easy read guide (careengland.org.uk)
- The British Institute of Human Rights’ “Know your Human Rights: Mental Health and Mental Capacity” tool: Know your human rights | British Institute for Human Rights