MCA in clinical decisions for care and treatment

Supporting consent giving

For practice to be legal and ethical it is important to understand that an individual’s mental capacity may vary depending on the nature of the decision needed, time of the decision, situation in which the decision is being made, and individual factors such as the cause and nature of brain impairment, effects of medication, presence of pain, distress or anxiety. 

Therefore, to support an individual, consider:

  1. The timing of the decision-making process so an individual is alert and not rushed or distressed
  2. Providing specific care and treatment to enable the individual to have the mental capacity necessary to make the decision including medication to reduce pain, anxiety, nausea, agitation
  3. Arranging for family or carer support to make the individual feel comfortable and confident to make the decision
  4. Advocating for the individual and helping them with communication barriers to understand and communicate their decision (NICE (2018)).