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What are 'Best Interests'?: A Critical Evaluation of 'Best Interests' Decision-making in Clinical Practice

Taylor, Helen (2016) What are 'Best Interests'?: A Critical Evaluation of 'Best Interests' Decision-making in Clinical Practice. Medical Law Review, 24 (2). pp. 176-205. ISSN 0967-0742

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Abstract

Obtaining the patient's consent is usually a prerequisite of any clinical intervention. However, some cognitively impaired patients may not be able to give valid consent. Following years of consultation and legislative review, the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) provides a statutory framework of ‘best interests’ decision-making on behalf of incapacitated individuals. However, confusion over the meaning and application of the ‘best interests’ standard persists. This paper explores the variation in judicial interpretation of the standard and the complexities of best interests decision-making in clinical practice. Prevailing confusion and risk-aversive practices mean that the rights and interests of cognitively impaired individuals continue to be compromised, with evidence to suggest that ‘best interests’ may be conflated with the clinician's evaluation of ‘best medical interests’.

Item Type: Article
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The full-text of the published article can be accessed via the Official URL.

Uncontrolled Keywords: assessing capacity, autonomy, best interests, cognitive impairments, Mental Capacity Act 2005, presumption of capacity, decision making
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA1001 Forensic Medicine. Medical jurisprudence. Legal medicine
Divisions: Academic Departments > Institute of Health and Society
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Depositing User: Helen Taylor
Date Deposited: 19 Aug 2019 13:13
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2019 13:13
URI: https://eprints.worc.ac.uk/id/eprint/8521

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