Reflecting on values and bias in mental capacity decision-making

Reflective Exercise

    Topic: Values & Bias

    Mason sustained a head injury in a motorbike accident when he was 18, he is now 21. He has an unsteady gait, some residual language processing difficulties and slurred speech as a result of his injuries but he now lives independently in the community. He still receives periodic episodes of rehabilitation from the community Physiotherapists and Speech and Language Therapists.

    He has decided that he wants to undertake a solo Land’s End to John O’Groats charity walk, an endeavour which his family say is too risky and problematic for him to undertake from their point of view. They are keen to stop this plan by portraying him as vulnerable and too reliant on help from them. They have sought “back-up” from the Physiotherapists and Speech and Language Therapists (SLT’s) to substantiate their opinions. Both feel that Mason could be safe and successful in his walk if he trains both physically and in the use of strategies for coping in interactions with unfamiliar people.

    What do you need to know more about with regards to this situation?

    What specific elements of the MCA might apply?

    How might your preconceptions/assumptions about this person influence you?

    How would you ensure your approach is ethical and unbiased?

    How do you ensure you are communicating in a way to involve the individual in the decisions made about them?

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