In the recently reported case of University College London Hospitals v KG  EWCOP 29, the court ruled that it was in the best interests of a person lacking capacity to receive a medical treatment that has never been tested on or administered to any...
For advice and assistance from our expert Court of Protection team on issues relating to mental capacity and best interests meetings call us on 0175 321 6399 or complete our online enquiry form. We offer services across the UK and have offices in the North West and in London. Legal aid funding is available subject to eligibility.
Doubt about mental capacity
When there is doubt about whether a person has the mental capacity (capability) to make a decision themselves, for example, due to a medical condition or mental illness, a mental capacity assessment must be undertaken by the relevant professionals in accordance with the Mental Capacity Act 2005, before any decision is made on behalf of the person.
Local authorities and NHS Trusts are often involved in the decision and it is those bodies who must ensure that the necessary assessments are undertaken and the correct process is followed before any decision is made or action taken.
Unfortunately in some cases, decisions are taken based on flawed or incorrect assessments of a person’s mental capacity. We are specialists in mental capacity and are able to challenge the outcome of a capacity assessment, if you or your loved ones dispute this. However, should there be a continuing dispute in respect of the outcome of a capacity assessment, the Court of Protection can ultimately resolve the dispute.
Best interests meetings
If a person lacks the mental capacity to make the decision in question, a best interests meeting must be held and the best interests’ process and procedure must be followed. This may be a multi-disciplinary meeting involving professionals such as social workers, doctors and other medical professionals, depending on the type of issue to be decided.
For example, you may be informed that a best interests meeting is being held to decide what type of care should be provided to a loved one, to decide where they should live or whether they should receive medical treatment.
Working out what would be in someone’s best interests is difficult and disagreements between family members and professionals are common. We are able to provide specialist advice and assistance in respect of the best interests process.