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What's in a word?

It is disappointing to find that there is currently a gradual departure from the presumption of capacity among professionals, which is the first principle of the Mental Capacity Act 2005

14 December 2015

Appearances

When it comes to the assessment of mental capacity, it would seem that a word counts for a lot; especially when that word is 'appears'.

Several months ago I was made aware of a report by a third party (not connected to TSF) that was criticised for the phrase, 'He appears to lack an ability to understand.'

It was criticised because this phrase is contrary to the first principle of the mental capacity act - the presumption of capacity. To my mind, the presumption of capacity is one of the fundamentals of assessing capacity, and so I was surprised that the party who was identified as being at fault was a very experienced consultant psychiatrist.

Since then I have been keeping an eye out for this specific issue and I am surprised (and saddened) to say that it seems t...

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