Inability to make decisions
3.—(1) For the purposes of section 2, a person is unable to make a decision for himself if he is unable-
- (a) to understand the information relevant to the decision,
- (b) to retain that information,
- (c) to use or weigh that information as part of the process of making the decision, or
- (d) to communicate his decision (whether by talking, using sign language or any other means).
(2) A person is not to be regarded as unable to understand the information relevant to a decision if he is able to understand an explanation of it given to him in a way that is appropriate to his circumstances (using simple language, visual aids or any other
(3) The fact that a person is able to retain the information relevant to a decision for a short period only does not prevent him from being regarded as able to make the decision.
(4) The information relevant to a decision includes information about the reasonably foreseeable consequences of-
- (a) deciding one way or another, or
- (b) failing to make the decision.
The Mental Capacity Act 2005 has been fully in force since 1 October 2007. For details of proposed amendments, see Mental Health Act 2007.