Mental Capacity Act 2005: Code of Practice

Mental Capacity Act 2005: Code of Practice

Published by the Deaprtment for Constitutional Affairs, the Mental Capacity Act 2005 Code of Practice is essential to practitioners working with Mental Capacity in England and Wales.


The Code explains the Act and its key provisions.


Chapter 1 introduces the Mental Capacity Act 2005.


Chapter 2 sets out the five statutory principles behind the Act and the way they affect how it is put in practice.


Chapter 3 explains how the Act makes sure that people are given the right help and support to make their own decisions.


Chapter 4 explains how the Act defines ‘a person who lacks capacity to make a decision’ and sets out a single clear test for assessing whether a person lacks capacity to make a particular decision at a particular time.


Chapter 5 explains what the Act means by acting in the best interests of someone lacking capacity to make a decision for themselves, and describes the checklist set out in the Act for working out what is in someone’s best interests.


Chapter 6 explains how the Act protects people providing care or treatment for someone who lacks the capacity to consent to the action being taken.


Chapter 7 shows how people who wish to plan ahead for the possibility that they might lack the capacity to make particular decisions for themselves in the future are able to grant Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) to named individuals to make certain decisions on their behalf, and how attorneys appointed under an LPA should act.


Chapter 8 describes the role of the new Court of Protection, established under the Act, to make a decision or to appoint a decision-maker on someone’s behalf in cases where there is no other way of resolving a matter affecting a person who lacks capacity to make the decision in question.


Chapter 9 explains the procedures that must be followed if someone wishes to make an advance decision to refuse medical treatment to come into effect when they lack capacity to refuse the specified treatment.


Chapter 10 describes the role of Independent Mental Capacity Advocates appointed under the Act to help and represent particularly vulnerable people who lack capacity to make certain significant decisions. It also sets out when they should be instructed.


Chapter 11 provides guidance on how the Act sets out specific safeguards and controls for research involving, or in relation to, people lacking capacity to consent to their participation.


Chapter 12 explains those parts of the Act which can apply to children and young people and how these relate to other laws affecting them.


Chapter 13 explains how the Act relates to the Mental Health Act 1983.


Chapter 14 sets out the role of the Public Guardian, a new public office established by the Act to oversee attorneys and deputies and to act as a single point of contact for referring allegations of abuse in relation to attorneys and deputies to other relevant agencies.


Chapter 15 examines the various ways that disputes over decisions made under the Act or otherwise affecting people lacking capacity to make relevant decisions can be resolved.


Chapter 16 summarises how the laws about data protection and freedom of information relate to the provisions of the Act.




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