Mental Capacity Act 2005

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Mental Capacity Act 20052016-12-04T22:51:48+00:00

Mental Capacity Act 2005 


A UK Parliamentary Act which provides the statutory framework to empower and protect vulnerable people unable to make their own decisions, and clarifies who can make those decisions, in which situations, and how they should go about it, and enables people to plan ahead for a time when they may lose capacity. 

The Act gives the state power to have a person lacking capacity, who is self-neglecting and becoming undernourished, to be admitted to hospital for treatment as long as their treatment in hospital does not amount to a deprivation of their liberty. The Act does not apply to any treatment for mental disorder–e.g., electroconvulsive therapy–being given in accordance with the rules about compulsory treatment set out in the Mental Health Acts 1983, 2007. 

Mental Capacity Act, 5 key principles

• Presumption of capacity to make decisions unless clearly proven otherwise

• The right for individuals to make their own decisions, unless they’re clearly incapable

• That individuals have the right to make what seem to be eccentric or unwise decisions

• Best interests–anything done for people without capacity must be in their best interests; and

• Least restrictive intervention–anything done for people without capacity should be the least restrictive of their basic rights and freedoms.


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