What does mental capacity mean?
Posted on 21st June 2019
As every Personal Injury Law specialist knows the Mental Capacity Act 2005 sets out five principles to help protect Clients who may struggle to make decisions:
A person must be assumed to have capacity unless it is established that he or she lacks capacity
A person is not to be treated as unable to make a decision unless all practicable steps to help him or her to do so have been taken without success
A person is not to be treated as unable to make a decision merely because he or she makes an unwise decision
An action taken or decision made under this Act for, or on behalf of, a person who lacks capacity must be in his or her best interests
Before an action is taken or a decision made, regard must be had as to whether the purpose for which it is needed can be as effectively achieved in a way that is less restrictive of the person’s rights and freedom of action
So, what does this mean?
Mental capacity assessments made under the Mental Capacity Act of 2005 will ascertain whether a person can: understand the information they are given; retain that information for long enough to make a decision; weigh up the information; communicate their decision – and mental capacity is decision-specific.
The mental capacity test has two stages: firstly, there must be proof of an illness or injury that affects the way the person’s brain or mind works. Secondly, it must be demonstrated that the proven disorder of the mind renders the person unable to make a specific decision at a specific time, although this second stage applies only if the person has been given enough support to try to make the decision themselves.
MG Legal, your Personal Injury Specialist, are experts in Personal Injury Law and we know that assessing mental capacity fundamentally comes down to understanding a person’s thought process.
We will take the time to discover how a Client’s mind is working, how they seek support and how they act on that support only then can we be sure that we are offering the best service with a personal touch for our Clients.
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