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Adults with Incapacity: Assessing capacity to consent to treatment - Case Study Example

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Summary
Capacity is defined as the ability of adults to succinctly understand relevant information that has impact on action or decisions and appreciate the reasonably foreseeable aftermath of taking or not taking that decision or actions. Incapacity is outlined in, “the adults with…
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Adults with Incapacity: Assessing capacity to consent to treatment
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Adults with Incapacity: Assessing capacity to consent to treatment

Download file to see previous pages... This act is central in decision making process and clarifies the legal basis upon which doctors make medical treatments of incapacitated adults (Berghmans, 2008). Doctors are often involved in assessing a person’s capacity to make decisions about these matters and it is part 5 of the act which regulates research and medical treatment and will have impact on medical practice.
Incapacity is outlined in the act that the inability to act, make decisions, communicate decisions, understanding decisions or keeping the memory of decisions resulting from physical disability or mental disorder (Cornish & Preston-Shoot, 2013). This incapability is however not because deficiency or lack of communication if that deficiency or lack can be made good by mechanical or human aid. The act outlines the following as the principles that underpin incapacity assessment and decision making process: minimum intervention, benefit, views of the specified persons, past and present wishes and exercising and developing skills. Assessment of capacity to consent to treatment is therefore a very important ethical and legal issue for doctors and staff working in acute and emergency general hospitals. Studies have suggested that approximately 30-52% of the total people admitted to hospitals will lack the capacity to consent to treatment (Murray, 2013). This paper focuses on assessing capacity to consent to treatment for adults with incapacity. This paper reflects on the attitudes and values that underpin professional practice and the factors that may affect capacity. The ethical and clinical judgments that need to be considered in relation to assessing capacity and the assessment methods available to determine capacity and implications for their practice have also been discussed in the paper.
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