Upholding human rights

Finding ways to engage the individual must always be the starting point and only if an individual’s voice and wishes cannot be ascertained should other aspects of the MCA be considered.

Practitioners must consider what can be done to support an individual to make their own decision and enable their voice to be heard in relation to giving or refusing consent. This is particularly important when a person cannot vocalise their views. Ethical practice involves recognising that individuals can be silenced by assumptions made about them (for example their lifestyle, educational attainment, or health diagnosis) as much as the absence of a physical voice. Therefore:

  • Individuals should be given appropriate information to help them make decisions themselves. The type and format of information will depend on the decision needed and the needs of the person.
  • Individuals should be given all practicable help and support to make the decision. Including:
    • Help to understand the decision
    • what is involved
    • Why the proposed care or treatment is needed
    • Individuals should be supported to communicate their wishes and choices wherever possible