Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015

8.

Guiding principles

8. (1) The principles set out in subsections (2) to (10) shall apply for the purposes of an intervention in respect of a relevant person, and the intervener shall give effect to those principles accordingly.

(2) It shall be presumed that a relevant person who falls within paragraph (a) of the definition of “relevant person” in section 2(1) has capacity in respect of the matter concerned unless the contrary is shown in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

(3) A relevant person who falls within paragraph (a) of the definition of “relevant person” in section 2(1) shall not be considered as unable to make a decision in respect of the matter concerned unless all practicable steps have been taken, without success, to help him or her to do so.

(4) A relevant person who falls within paragraph (a) of the definition of “relevant person” in section 2(1) shall not be considered as unable to make a decision in respect of the matter concerned merely by reason of making, having made, or being likely to make, an unwise decision.

(5) There shall be no intervention in respect of a relevant person unless it is necessary to do so having regard to the individual circumstances of the relevant person.

(6) An intervention in respect of a relevant person shall—

(a) be made in a manner that minimises—

(i) the restriction of the relevant person’s rights, and

(ii) the restriction of the relevant person’s freedom of action,

(b) have due regard to the need to respect the right of the relevant person to dignity, bodily integrity, privacy, autonomy and control over his or her financial affairs and property,

(c) be proportionate to the significance and urgency of the matter the subject of the intervention, and

(d) be as limited in duration in so far as is practicable after taking into account the particular circumstances of the matter the subject of the intervention.

(7) The intervener, in making an intervention in respect of a relevant person, shall—

(a) permit, encourage and facilitate, in so far as is practicable, the relevant person to participate, or to improve his or her ability to participate, as fully as possible, in the intervention,

(b) give effect, in so far as is practicable, to the past and present will and preferences of the relevant person, in so far as that will and those preferences are reasonably ascertainable,

(c) take into account—

(i) the beliefs and values of the relevant person (in particular those expressed in writing), in so far as those beliefs and values are reasonably ascertainable, and

(ii) any other factors which the relevant person would be likely to consider if he or she were able to do so, in so far as those other factors are reasonably ascertainable,

(d) unless the intervener reasonably considers that it is not appropriate or practicable to do so, consider the views of—

(i) any person named by the relevant person as a person to be consulted on the matter concerned or any similar matter, and

(ii) any decision-making assistant, co-decision-maker, decision-making representative or attorney for the relevant person,

(e) act at all times in good faith and for the benefit of the relevant person, and

(f) consider all other circumstances of which he or she is aware and which it would be reasonable to regard as relevant.

(8) The intervener, in making an intervention in respect of a relevant person, may consider the views of—

(a) any person engaged in caring for the relevant person,

(b) any person who has a bona fide interest in the welfare of the relevant person, or

(c) healthcare professionals.

(9) In the case of an intervention in respect of a person who lacks capacity, regard shall be had to—

(a) the likelihood of the recovery of the relevant person’s capacity in respect of the matter concerned, and

(b) the urgency of making the intervention prior to such recovery.

(10) The intervener, in making an intervention in respect of a relevant person—

(a) shall not attempt to obtain relevant information that is not reasonably required for making a relevant decision,

(b) shall not use relevant information for a purpose other than in relation to a relevant decision, and

(c) shall take reasonable steps to ensure that relevant information—

(i) is kept secure from unauthorised access, use or disclosure, and

(ii) is safely disposed of when he or she believes it is no longer required.