12: Framing mental capacity and mental health legislation in decision making


The interface between mental capacity and mental health legislation can present a challenge for decision making. It requires a depth of thinking and a viewpoint that goes beyond a legalistic one. The reader is invited to reflect on the spirit of the legislation and on their own position and interpretations. There is an emphasis on emancipatory, values-based practice and a focus on choice. The chapter supports professionals to frame their own decision-making orientation and to use existing models, practice, policy and legal imperatives to support this. The chapter suggests that practitioners need to strike a balance between enabling people and sanctioning people, and that balance sits on a very fine line. The chapter therefore asks the reader to be aware of professional, organisational and legal boundaries and frames and to acknowledge and understand the complexities and nuances of decision making. Historical, contemporary and future frames are addressed.

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