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Mental Capacity Act 2005

What it means for young people aged 16 and over:

  • It will help young people to make their own decisions
  • It will also protect people who cannot make their own decisions about some things.  This is called 'lacking capacity'

The Act tells people:

  • What to do to help someone make their own decisions about something
  • how to work out if someone can make their own decisions about something
  • what to do if someone cannot make decisions

Assessing Capacity:

No one can assume you lack capacity because of

  • how old you are
  • how you look
  • how you act

No-one can assume that you cannot make the decision yourself just because:

  • you have a disability
  • you cannot make more complicated decisions
  • you have not been able to make decisions like that in the past

The Big Ideas:

  • Start off by thinking that everyone can make their own decisions
  • Give the person all the support they can to help them make decisions
  • No-one should be stopped from making a decision just because someone else thinks it is wrong or bad
  • Anytime someone does something or decides for someone who lacks capacity, it must be in the person's best interests - there is a checklist for this
  • When the do something or decide something for another person, they must try to limit your own freedom and rights as little as possible.

What if a person has nobody to support them?

Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) Service - The main duty of the IMCA service is to provide an independent safeguard to support people who lack capacity to make important decisions for themselves and who have nobody to support them. 

Advocacy Trust Gloucestershire provides a joint IMCA service in Gloucestershire.  Click on the IMCA (County Community Projects) service link on the right hand side of this page for more information.






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