To treat or not to treat – Who decides?

Friday, October 18, 2019 12:45 - 13:15


  • To define mental capacity and causes of incapacity.
  • To outline the MCA Code of Practice and the five Key Principles
  • To understand and be able to apply the two-stage test of capacity.
  • To manage best interest decisions in patients who lack capacity, and outline individuals with the right to make decisions on their behalf.
  • To outline consent processes for children under 16 with or without competence.

The above aims and objectives should cover the fundamental topics to equip the dental team to provide treatment in a legal and ethical way to patients as per the GDC Standards (3).  At the end of the talk the clinician should be able to:
  • Understand the legal definition of capacity, and the different causes of incapacity.
  • Understand the purpose of the Mental Capacity Act, the Code of Practice and its five core principles.
  • Confidently apply the two stage test of capacity.
  • Understand how to manage patients who lack capacity, determine who has the ability to make decisions on their behalf, and when to apply for legal representation.
  • Understand Gillick competence and the role of parental responsibility in children under the age of 16.

Daakshini Patel, Dental Officer, Great Western Hospitals NHS Trust

Malika Hindocha, Associate Dentist, NHS