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.

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371