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Free Publicity Materials

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Assessment of Mental Capacity


Mental Health

This is an E-Book product, purchasing this item allows you to download the book onto your computer to read as a pdf or similar.

15 December 2015

Law Society Publishing


368 pages

Assessment of Mental Capacity
A Practical Guide for Doctors and Lawyers, 4th edition

The British Medical Association and the Law Society. General Editor: Alex Ruck Keene


Also Available in hardcopy.

Doctors, lawyers and other professionals often need to make an assessment of a person's mental capacity.

This book helps to support these professionals by giving them:

  • a fuller understanding of the law in all situations where an assessment of capacity may be needed
  • clarification of the roles of both professions
  • an aid to communication both between them and with the person being assessed.

Written by experts from a variety of disciplines, this book combines a precise statement of the law witha practical, jargon-free approach to provide guidelines on a range of issues, from capacity to form intimate personal relationships to capacity to consent to medical treatment.

The fourth edition has been updated and expanded to take account of:

  • recent case law and current good practice
  • revision of the Mental Health Act 1983: Code of Practice
  • the rising prominence of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

It provides an essential source of guidelines and information, including extracts from the Act and the Code of Practice and is an indispensable tool for health and legal professionals.

When you place your order you will receive a email with a file download link. Before clicking on the link you will first need to install a copy of Adobe Digital Editions (see or an e-reader app such as Bluefire (for iPad), or Aldiko (for Android devices). You may find the following link useful: Our frequently asked questions will also offer detailed advice about ordering an Ebook


"This up-date is long overdue, and will prove to be a welcome addition to the bookshelves of not only doctors and lawyers, but also those social workers, psychologists, nurses, occupational therapists and others whose work requires them to assess capacity and make 'best interests' decisions."

Journal of Mental Health Law (review of previous edition)


Part I Introduction:
1. The law, practice and this book;
2. Professional and ethical issues; Part II Legalprinciples:
3. The Mental Capacity Act 2005: capacity and best interests;
4. The legal principles: capacity andevidence; Part III Legal tests of capacity:
5. Capacity to deal with financial affairs;
6. Capacity to make awill;
7. Capacity to make a gift;
8. Capacity to litigate;
9. Capacity to enter into a contract;
10. Capacity tovote;
11. Capacity and personal relationships;
12. Capacity to consent: the criminal law and sexual offences;
13. Capacity to consent to and refuse medical treatment and procedures;
14. Capacity to consent to researchand innovative treatment;
15. Capacity and the deprivation of liberty;
16. Capacity and the Mental HealthAct; Part IV Practical aspects of the assessment of mental capacity:
17. Practical guidelines for doctors;
18. Practical guidelines for lawyers;
Appendix: A. Mental Capacity Act 2005, ss.1–6;
B. Mental Capacity Act2005: Code of Practice, Chapters 2–4;
C. Court of Protection;
D. Court of Protection Practice Direction 9E:Applications relating to serious medical treatment;
E. The Official Solicitor;
F. Certificate as to capacity toconduct proceedings (Official Solicitor);
G. COP3 Assessment of Capacity and Guidance Notes;
H. Sampleletter to a GP requesting evidence of testamentary capacity;
I. Addresses;
J. Further reading.

About the Authors

Alex Ruck Keene is a barrister at 39 Essex Chambers and an Honorary Research Lecturer at the Universityof Manchester. He has appeared in cases involving the Mental Capacity Act 2005 at all levels up to andincluding the Supreme Court. He also trains and writes extensively about mental capacity issues and is thecreator of the website