Skip to main content

About this free course

Become an OU student

Download this course

Share this free course

Understanding mental capacity
Understanding mental capacity

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

1.1 Exceptions

When a person lacks mental capacity, i.e. is unable to make a decision for themselves, or when their mental capacity fluctuates, other people can share in the decision making or make the decision on their behalf. You will explore how this works in a moment. Before you do this, it is important to note that there are certain decisions that cannot be made by another person on behalf of someone who lacks mental capacity. These can be governed by legislation. They include:

  • getting married or entering into a civil partnership
  • consenting to sex
  • placing a child for adoption
  • voting at an election.