Ethics

Mental capacity tool kit

Our tool kit contains a series of cards relating to specific areas of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (England and Wales).

It is designed to raise your awareness of the Act and to help you in good decision-making when you are providing care and treatment for people who lack, or who may lack, the mental capacity to make decisions on their own behalf.

It covers issues such as:

  • how to assess capacity
  • the basic principles of the Act
  • advance refusals of treatment
  • research
  • Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs)

Each card refers to separate areas of the Act, but there is also a degree of overlap between them. This tool kit does not aim to be definitive guidance on all the issues surrounding the Mental Capacity Act.

Card 1 lists other sources of guidance that you should use with the cards. If you have any doubt about a case, we recommend you seek legal advice.

Card 1

Card 2

Card 3

Additional guidance on the Mental Capacity Act General information Basic principles

Card 4

Card 5

Card 6

Assessing capacity Best interests Acts in connection with care or treatment

Card 7

Card 8

Card 9

Restraint Care and treatment amounting to deprivation of liberty - the 'Bournewood' safeguards Advance decisions refusing treatment

Card 10

Card 11

Card 12

Research Lasting powers of attorney Court of Protection and Court-appointed Deputies

Card 13

Card 14

Card 15

Independent mental capacity advocates Relationship with the Mental Health Act Dispute resolution

Card 16

Card 17

 

Confidentiality and information sharing Useful names and addresses  

Scotland and Northern Ireland 

In Scotland, decision-making in this area is covered by the Adults With Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000.
Read our advice for Scotland 

In Northern Ireland, decision-making is governed by the common law. The Northern Ireland Assembly are working towards statutory provisions for treating adults lacking mental capacity but we do not yet know when this will be introduced. In the meantime, you may find pages 134 to 141 (Chapter 3) of Medical Ethics Today useful. If you are a BMA member you can get free access to it via Dawsonera. If you don't have a Dawsonera account, please email e-books@bma.org.uk  

 

Downloads

Mental Capacity Act tool kit (England and Wales) - full version (PDF 202k)

Assessing mental capacity

Need to assess a patient's mental capacity?

Use our interactive tool to help you

Vulnerable adults and confidentiality

Vulnerable adults who retain capacity under the terms of the Mental Capacity Act (2005), may not want confidential information disclosed, even when this would be in their best interests.

Read our guidance to help you in this challenging situation.

Vulnerable adults and confidentiality