‘It’s time for you to make a decision’: How decision making is introduced to people with learning disabilities

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

Abstract

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 (England and Wales) (MCA) introduces a legislative framework for assessing people’s decision-making capacity. The MCA’s principles state that everyone should be assumed to have decision-making capacity unless it is established that they do not after ‘practicable steps’ have been taken to help them to make the decision. The translation of these principles to practice is vital if the Act is to meet its objectives. Using a version of applied CA this paper presents analysis of video data from interactions between people with learning disabilities (intellectual disabilities) and their supporters. The videos were collected as part a PhD study examining supported decision-making and capacity assessment. For people with learning disabilities everyday decisions ‘in connection with care and treatment’ are likely to take place away from the public domain, and this is where support staff will assess their capacity. The focus here will be on the strategies staff use to introduce decision-making. They were seen to prepare the people they support by ‘marking’ the introduction of a decision. Assumptions of capacity appear to be explicitly foregrounded in talk, with responsibility for the decision being passed to the person who is being supported. However, this passing of responsibility does not always lead to a smooth outcome.
Translated title of the contribution‘It’s time for you to make a decision’: How decision making is introduced to people with learning disabilities
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCommunication, Medicine and Ethics (COMET), Cardiff, June 25-27
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2009

Bibliographical note

Conference Organiser: Communication, Medicine and Ethics (COMET)

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