16th June 2016
What are Best Interests?
Any act done, or decision made, on behalf of a person who lacks capacity must be done, or made, in their best interests and with regard to the least restriction on the person’s rights and freedom of action.
In determining what is in a person’s best interests, those making the decision must not make it merely on the basis of the person’s age, appearance or behaviour. In reaching a decision all the relevant circumstances must be considered and, in particular:
- whether it is likely that the person will regain capacity in relation to the matter in question, and if so when that is likely to be;
- so far as reasonably practicable, encouraging the person to participate, as fully as possible in any act done for him/her and any decision affecting him/her;
- so far as is reasonably ascertainable:
- the person’s past and present wishes and feelings (and, in particular, any relevant written statement made when they had capacity),
- the beliefs and values that would be likely to influence the decision if they had capacity,
- the other factors that the individual would be likely to consider if they were able to do so.
- if it is practicable and appropriate to consult them, the views of:
- anyone named by the person as someone to be consulted,
- anyone engaged in caring for the person or interested in their welfare,
- any donee of a lasting power of attorney granted by the person, and
- any deputy appointed for the person by the court, as to what would be in the person’s best interests.
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12th April 2016
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