If someone (P) does not have capacity to make a decision then that decision needs to be taken in their best interests. P should be encouraged to participate in the decision as fully as possible.

To make a best interests decision it is necessary to consider:

1. Does the decision need to be made now or can it wait until P regains capacity?

2. P’s past and present wishes and feelings

3. P’s beliefs and values which would affect his/her decision if they had capacity

4. Other factors they would be likely to consider if they were able to do so

5. Consult, where appropriate, with;

– Anyone named by P to be consulted in the decision or similar decisions,

– People involved in P’s care, such as support workers

– People who are interested in P’s welfare, such as a parent

– People named by P in their Power of Attorney, if there is such a document

-The persons named as deputies, if a deputy has been appointed.

6. If the decision concerns life sustaining treatment then the decision made should not be done in order to bring about P’s death.

The decision should not be merely based on P’s age, appearance or an aspect of P’s behaviour.