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.

Free course

Understanding mental capacity

Week 2: Decisions, decisions

Introduction

How would it feel if you were unable to make decisions for yourself?

Described image
Figure 1 For some, making decisions is not an easy thing

We make decisions all the time without realising how important it is to us: relatively minor, everyday ones like what to wear in the morning or sometimes more significant, life-changing ones like where to live, or decisions between these two extremes. Where a person’s mental capacity is in doubt, their ability to make a decision has to be given careful consideration before someone else makes the decision on their behalf. The nature and type of decision that is required usually requires intervention. Whatever the nature of the decision, some kind of support or intervention is required. This can be relatively straightforward and involve just the person and people closest to them or it can involve more formal assessment procedures and safeguards. The principle followed throughout is that, wherever possible, the person should be enabled to make their own decision.

By the end of this week you will be able to:

  • describe different types of decision and the ones that no one else can make
  • explain how decisions are made and what helps people make decisions
  • explain what is meant by, and who is, the decision maker when a person lacks mental capacity or has fluctuating mental capacity
  • describe in simple terms how decision makers decide
  • describe in simple terms what is meant by an unwise decision.
Skip Your course resources
MHC_1

Take your learning further371

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 courses372.

If you are new to university level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. Find out Where to take your learning next?373 You could either choose to start with an Access courses374or an open box module, which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification.

Not ready for University study then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn375 and sign up to our newsletter376 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