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Please note: The content of this guidance may be subject to change pending completion of a publication review due to be completed in July 2015.
Extract from the Foreword to the guidance by Denzil Lush, Master of the Court of Protection
One of the principal purposes of the Mental Capacity Act is to promote awareness and good practice in dealing with those who lack capacity. To give it muscle, the legislation provides that people must have regard to the code of practice if they are acting for someone who lacks capacity, and are doing so in a professional capacity or for remuneration. It goes on to say that such people should be able to demonstrate that they are familiar with the relevant sections of the code, and that, in any legal or disciplinary proceedings, a court can have regard to their failure to comply with the provisions of the code. In essence, the objectives of this interim guidance for psychologists are the same - to promote awareness and good practice in the assessment of capacity in adults - and I am sure it will not be too long before it becomes the clinical psychologists' own code of practice in this field. It is, of course, a far more thorough analysis of the assessment of capacity than the single chapter on this subject in the Mental Capacity Act code of practice, but then it was written for a specialist readership, rather than the wider public. I must congratulate the Society on persuading such a formidable team of experts to join its capacity working party, for producing such comprehensive guidance, and for setting a new frontier in the burgeoning literature on this subject.
Chapter 1 - The legal context
Chapter 2 - Assessment of capacity: A psychological perspective
Chapter 3 - Professional issues
Chapter 4 - Involvement in multi-disciplinary best interest decision-making
Chapter 5 - Comments on the Scottish situation
Chapter 6 - Case examples:
- Section 1. Consent to health and social care
- Section 2. Legal areas
- Section 3. Consent to sexual relations
- Section 4. Finances
- Section 5. Consent in research