The Mental Capacity Act 2005 provides a comprehensive framework for decision making on behalf of adults aged 16 and over who lack capacity to make decisions on their own behalf. The Act applies to all decisions taken on behalf of people who permanently or temporarily lack capacity to make such decisions themselves, including decisions relating to medical treatment. All doctors working with adults who lack, or who may lack, capacity will need to be familiar with both its underlying principles and its basic provisions.
Useful tools and guidance:
- The BMA website offers a wealth of practical tools and guidance to support GPs in areas such as assessing mental capacity and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS):
- The GMC has developed an interactive tool to will help with decisions on what to do when you doubt your patient’s capacity to make decisions about their care.
- The Mental Capacity Act Code of Practice provides guidance to anyone who is working with and/or caring for adults who may lack capacity to make particular decisions.