How do I assess a patient's capacity?

The legal framework for assessing whether a patient is able to consent is provided by the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) and its accompanying Code of Practice. You can find more information about the various principles in our quick guides to consent.

However, this is an extremely complex and sensitive legal area, not least because capacity can fluctuate with time, and we suggest members seek specific dento-legal advice from the DDU.

This page was correct at publication on 17/01/2019. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.