Mental capacity law, autonomy, and best interests: An argument for conceptual and practical clarity in the Court of Protection

John Coggon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

15 Citations (Scopus)
1713 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This article examines medical decision-making, arguing that the law, properly understood, requires where possible that equal weight be given to the wishes, feelings, beliefs, and values of patients who have, and patients who are deemed to lack, decision-making capacity. It responds critically to dominant lines of reasoning that are advanced and applied in the Court of Protection, and suggests that for patient-centred practice to be achieved, we do not need to revise the law, but do need to ensure robust interpretation and application of the law. The argument is based on conceptual analysis of the law's framing of patients and medical decisions, and legal analysis of evolving and contemporary norms governing the best interests standard.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)396-414
Number of pages19
JournalMedical Law Review
Volume24
Issue number3
Early online date1 Aug 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Dec 2016

Keywords

  • Autonomy
  • Best interests
  • Court of Protection
  • Medical decision-making
  • Mental capacity

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