The Mental Capacity Act 2005 has five statutory principles that guide your attorneys and those people that can help you make decisions.
1. Capacity is Assumed
When a decision has to be made you are assumed to have capacity, so it is for someone else to provide evidence that more likely than not, you lack the mental capacity to make that decision.
2. Help Making a Decision
You are not to be treated as being unable to make a decision, unless all practicable steps to help you have been made without success. People should help to ensure that you understand the information being given to you and the decision that needs to be made.
3. Unwise Decisions
You must not be treated as unable to make decision, just because your family, friends or health professionals think that you’ve made an unwise decision or they disagree with it.
4. Best Interests
Any decision made or act done, must be in your best interests. This particular principal is crucial in ensuring that your attorneys cannot act in self-interest. Clients often ask, "but couldn't my attorney..."? No, not if it's not in your best interests.
5. Least Restrictve Option
Before any decision is made, care must be taken to avoid restricting your rights or freedom of action. They should always choose the decision that impacts on your basic rights and freedoms the least.