The Mental Capacity Act 2005 protects the rights of people who lack capacity to make their own decisions. In the past, people have been confused about when and how to make decisions for people with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD). The Mental Capacity Act 2005 puts into law the rights of people who lack capacity to make their own decisions, as well as those who can make their own decisions.
If used properly, the Mental Capacity Act can be used to:
- empower people with PMLD to make their own decisions where possible
- help people to make a decision in the best interests of someone with PMLD, if the person lacks capacity to make that decision themselves
- make sure that people with PMLD get the medical treatment they need even if they are unable to consent to it.
- make sure that any decision to deprive someone with PMLD of their liberty in order for them to get the treatment they need, is made in their best interests, is properly authorised and is closely monitored.
- families and carers to understand their rights under the Mental Capacity Act and what they can do if they don't agree with the ‘decision maker'.
- people to make decisions which are really in the best interests of the person with PMLD - without making assumptions about their quality of life.
- all information provided to help people make decisions about someone's life to be free from assumptions about quality of life
- people with PMLD to be meaningfully involved when someone is making the decision in their best interests.
Read Sam's story to find out why mental capacity and consent is such an important issue for people with PMLD.
Share your story!
Tell us your story about how you have used the Mental Capacity Act in real life situations.
Mencap's Mental Capacity Act resource
Mencap has produced a practical toolkit for families and carers. Find out more about this resource and watch videos about how families are finding Hospital Passports and Health Action Plans vital tools for improving the quality of healthcare for people with a learning disability.
Further resources and information
- Find out about the Best interest decision-making tool, which helps ensure you are involved when best interest decisions are being made about a loved one.
- Visit the HfT website for videos and downloads on the Mental Capacity Act.
- Find out about the new Awareness of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 qualification developed by Skills for Care.