Mental capacity draft code of practice launched

The government published a draft code of practice on the Mental Capacity Act today that sets out safeguards for acting on behalf of people who are unable to make decisions for themselves.

Measures within the act will come into force in April 2007, and the code, which is out for consultation until June, covers everything from day-to-day decisions such as what to wear to health and financial matters.

It includes an explanation of what it means when a person lacks capacity to make a decision, how professionals should make decisions about personal, health and social care and making a lasting power of attorney.

Baroness Ashton, who is responsible for mental capacity, said: “Many people will benefit from the changes that come into force next year: those who lack mental capacity, their families, friends and carers, healthcare professionals and financial and legal advisers.”

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