Explain why legislation is necessary to protect the rights of individuals who cannot make decisions for themselves.: Understanding mental capacity Assignment, OAL, UK

University Open Academy London (OAL)
Subject Understanding mental capacity

1. Explain why legislation is necessary to protect the rights of individuals who cannot make decisions for themselves.


The Mental Capacity Act 2005 is referred to throughout this unit. The question is asking why leglislation is necessary not to go into too much detail about the legislation itself.

2. Describe factors which may lead to an individual lacking the capacity to make a particular decision for themselves. GUIDANCE Think about external factors: your answer should include, illnesses, learning disabilities and substance misuse.

3. Explain, in your own words, how the Mental Capacity Act 2005: a) empowers people to make decisions for themselves b) protects people who lack capacity by placing them at the heart of the decision-making process. GUIDANCE Here you need to consider what is meant by ‘duty of care.

For example, the service user may make unwise decisions but this does not mean they lack mental capacity. For those who do lack mental capacity consider factors such as ‘best interests’.

4. Describe why ‘effective communication’ is so important when working with service users who lack capacity, when they are wanting to make decisions. GUIDANCE It will be useful to consider the concept of ‘person centred’ care here, when considering your answer.

5. Define, and give a brief explanation of, the five statutory principles included in the Mental Capacity Act 2005. GUIDANCE You must explain your understanding of each of the five statutory principles, in your own words. Please remember to reference your work correctly.

6. Describe when a worker must comply with the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and how legal protection is given to workers providing care and treatments for someone who lacks capacity. GUIDANCE The Mental Capacity actually protects both the service user and the care worker by giving guidelines. It might be useful to include some examples of possible scenario’s in your answer to illustrate the points you make.

7. Explain what is meant by the term ‘capacity’ and the term ‘best interests’ as defined in the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and whose responsibility it is to assess them. GUIDANCE Here you need to demonstrate your understanding of the 2 terms – ‘capacity’ and ‘best interests’ and how they impact on your and the service user.

8. How do you ensure you act in the individuals best interests? Include an example of when, as a carer, you may need to act in someone’s best interest’. GUIDANCE Remember to include references in your answer if you refer to any legislation or policies. Also, remember to include examples of how you would do this or have done this in your job role; your examples need to illustrate what actions you would take to ensure you, as a worker, are acting in the service users best interests.

9. What day to day decisions do you expect will you be asked to make in your job role with a service user that lacks capacity? GUIDANCE Use examples to illustrate the type of deccisions you make have to make for your service user. This may include, for example, issues relating to financial matters or health matters.

10. Explain what an Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) is and give an example of when an MCA would need to be appointed. GUIDANCE You will need to conduct research to make sure you know what the role of an MCA is and then, in your own words, explain this and give an example of when they would be appointed.

11. Explain how the Mental Capacity Act 2005 can support people who wish to plan ahead if they expect to lack capacity. GUIDANCE Give examples of the type of health conditions that may affect capacity and how the Mental Capacity Act 2005 can help them.

12. Identify the type of actions that are classified as ‘restraint’ and explain what factors make restraint lawful under the Mental Capacity Act 2005. GUIDANCE Remember to include a full explanation of the factors that make restraint lawful in some circumstances. If you are quoting legislation, for example, or cases of law, please remember to reference your answers. Remember to consider physical restraint and medical restraint.

13. Explain occasions where restrictions/restraint can amount to a deprivation of liberty and explain the procedures that need to be taken if a service user is to be lawfully deprived of their liberty?

GUIDANCE Here, it would be useful to give examples of restrictions or restraint. For example, removal of property, medication, locked areas with the care setting. You will need to conduct research ‘deprivation of liberty’ in order to understand and explain how this can impact on a service user.

14. Explain why it is important to raise concerns with your supervisor if you think a service user is being deprived of their liberty. GUIDANCE You may find it useful to refer to the Duty of Care and Safeguarding protocols in your care setting.

15. Explain the legal status of the ‘Mental Capacity Act 2005 Code of Practice’ and explain its purpose. GUIDANCE Consider how the Code of Practice supports the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and remember to include your reasons for why it is important to have such a Code of Practice. Remember to include references in your answer if necessary.

16. How, in your opinion, does the Mental Capacity Act 2006 Code of Practice affect day to day working in the Adult Care sector? GUIDANCE Consider, for example, how ‘person centred’ approaches are used with ‘best interests’. How might these 2 factors affect the way tasks and interactions with service users are carried out during your day to day working practices?

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