From ‘doctor knows best’ to dignity: placing adults who lack capacity at the centre of decisions about their medical treatment

5:00pm - 8:00pm / Thursday 11th May 2017 / Venue: The Gallery Foresight Centre (Block J)
Type: Lecture / Category: Research
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The Health Law and Regulation Unit Annual Lecture 2017
by Professor Emily Jackson

The purpose in this talk will be to look backwards, over 28 years of case law and legislative reform since the judiciary first derived a ‘best interests’ test for the medical treatment of adults who lack capacity from the doctrine of necessity, and forwards, in order to advocate an even more participative model of decision-making than that which has already been developed in the Court of Protection. In particular, the speaker will consider whether it might be possible for the law’s binary threshold concept of capacity to be applied in practice so that it better reflects the reality that people exist on a spectrum of decision-making ability, or more precisely, on a spectrum as to how much support they need in order to make decisions.