PURPOSE

The purpose of this toolkit is to guide health practitioners when assessing an adult’s capacity to make decisions. The toolkit is intended to assist doctors and other health practitioners including psychologists, nurses, occupational therapists (clinicians) and social workers who may be involved in assessing capacity.

The toolkit provides a consistent and systematic approach to assessing capacity within the New Zealand healthcare setting. It covers: key practice points, how to carry out a capacity assessment, and an overview of the relevant law.

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has shifted the focus towards supported decision-making for people with impaired capacity: not only is it important that good judgements are made about whether or not a person has decision-making capacity but it is equally important to provide ways in which a person can be supported so as to make their own decisions.

This toolkit aims to recognise supported decision-making within New Zealand’s diverse cultural contexts and that tikanga Māori is central to capacity assessment of Māori people. 5. A list of useful resources is provided at the end of the toolkit. This toolkit is a clinical, legal and practical guide for health practitioners (clinicians) when assessing an adult’s capacity to make decisions.  The checklist is a summary of the toolkit.  It is intended to assist clinicians who do capacity assessments infrequently.

  © Copyright 2017 Alison Douglass