Assessing capacity

As the population ages, doctors will increasingly need to assess their patients’ decision-making abilities

Doctors are frequently faced with the need to obtain informed consent from their patients for health-related issues.


Perhaps less commonly they might be required to comment on a patient’s testamentary capacity in relation to money and property. And sometimes they might be asked if a patient is capable of making a reasonable decision about a more personal issue.The key issue in each case is ‘capacity’.1

What is ‘capacity’?

Capacity is the ability to make a decision and therefore is the