Mental Capacity Act Core Principles

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Mental Capacity Act Core Principles

Core principles

What are the 5 key core principles of the Mental Capacity Act 2005?

The Mental Capacity Act contains five core principles, which must be followed in any assessment of or decision about a person’s capacity.

1. Assumption of capacity
A person must be assumed to have capacity unless it is established that they lack capacity.
2. Maximising decision-making capacity
A person is not to be treated as unable to make a decision unless all practicable ('doable') steps have been taken without success.
3. Unwise decisions
A person is not to be treated as unable to make a decision merely because they make an unwise decision.
4. Best interests
An act done, or decision made, under this Act for or on behalf of a person who lacks capacity must be done, or made, in his best interests.
5. Least restrictive alternative
Before the act is done, or the decision is made

Links to related information

Mental Capacity Act 2005
Safeguarding Adults
Client affairs
Glossary of terms used

Page last updated: 18/07/2010