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You are here: Home Page > Health and Social Care > Mental Capacity Act (MCA) > Principles of the MCA

Principles of the Mental Capacity Act

The whole Act is underpinned by a set of five key principles (section one of the Act):

 

  • A presumption of capacity-every adult has the right to make his or her own decisions and must be assumed to have capacity to do so unless it is proved otherwise.
  • Individuals being supported to make their own decisions-a person must be given all practicable help before anyone treats them as not being able to make their own decisions
  • Unwise decisions-just because an individual makes what might be seen as an unwise decision, they should not be treated as lacking capacity to make a decision
  • Best interests-an act done or decision made under the Act for or on behalf of a person who lacks capacity must be done in their best interests
  • Least restrictive option-anything done for or on behalf of a person who lacks capacity should be the least restrictive of their basic rights and freedoms

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