Best interests, dementia and the Mental Capacity Act (2005)

Journal of Medical Ethics 35 (12):733-738 (2009)
The Mental Capacity Act (2005) is an impressive piece of legislation that deserves serious ethical attention, but much of the commentary on the Act has focussed on its legal and practical implications rather than the underlying ethical concepts. This paper examines the approach that the Act takes to best interests. The Act does not provide an account of the underlying concept of best interests. Instead it lists factors that must be considered in determining best interests, and the Code of Practice to the Act states that this list is incomplete. This paper argues that this general approach is correct, contrary to some accounts of best interests. The checklist includes items that are unhelpful. Furthermore, neither the Act nor its Code of Practice provides sufficient guidance to carers faced with difficult decisions concerning best interests. This paper suggests ways in which the checklist can be developed and discusses cases that could be used in an updated Code of Practice
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1136/jme.2009.030783
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,707
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Ajit Shah (2011). Mental Competence or Best Interests? Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 18 (2):151-152.
Tim Thornton (2011). Capacity, Mental Mechanisms, and Unwise Decisions. Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 18 (2):127-132.
Kevin McGovern (2010). Caring for People with Dementia. Chisholm Health Ethics Bulletin 15 (3):6.
Ajit Shah (2011). The Pragmatic Aspects of Assessing Mental Capacity. Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 18 (2):133-134.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

15 ( #175,574 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #369,877 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.