Mental Capacity Act

The Mental Capacity Act (MCA) is the legal framework for treating and caring for people who lack capacity. The Act has five key principles which must underpin everyone’s approach to making a decision on behalf of a person who lacks capacity.

  1. A person must be assumed to have capacity unless it is established that they lack capacity.
  2. A person does not lack capacity unless they have been given all possible support to help them make a decision.
  3. A person does not lack capacity just because they make an unwise decision.
  4. Any decision made on behalf of a person who lacks capacity must be made in their best interests.
  5. Any decision made on behalf of a person who lacks capacity must be the least restrictive option.

The MCA also allows people with capacity to plan ahead for a time when they lack capacity by making an Advance Decision or a Lasting Power of Attorney.