Has anyone come across any ‘MCA section 4(7)(a) statement forms’ online?
Celia Kitzinger recently came across a really dreadful ‘Advance Decision form’ - I’m not going to discuss that form here, but it did make we ponder.
There is some excellent wording from Mr Justice Hayden, which explains how the family and friends of a person who has become mentally-incapable, have gained an understanding of the person from their shared life experience. See for the link to the piece by Mr Justice Hayden:
Compressing the words used by Mr Justice Hayden, and adding explanations in brackets, what he very clearly explained can be summed up as:
‘He (the now mentally-incapable person) may not have prepared a document that complies with the criteria of section 24 (a formal written Advance Decision complying with sections 24-26 of the Mental Capacity Act), giving advance directions to refuse treatment but he has in so many oblique and tangential ways over so many years communicated his views so uncompromisingly and indeed bluntly that none of his friends are left in any doubt what he would want in his present situation.’
Mr Justice Hayden was considering section 4 of the MCA - ‘best-interests decision-making’ - and he had identified ‘the patient’s friends’. Section 4(7) of the MCA states:
4(7) He must take into account, if it is practicable and appropriate to consult them, the views of—
(a) anyone named by the person as someone to be consulted on the matter in question or on matters of that kind,
(b) anyone engaged in caring for the person or interested in his welfare,
(c) any donee of a lasting power of attorney granted by the person, and
(d) any deputy appointed for the person by the court, as to what would be in the person’s best interests and, in particular, as to the matters mentioned in subsection (6).
This is what that awful ADRT form made me ponder: suppose I live alone, and it isn’t obvious who ‘my friends’ [using Mr Justice Hayden’s term - an alternative often-used term is 'those close to the patient'] are – how do the people who are trying to work out what would be in my ‘best-interests’, discover those ‘friends’?
I am NOT thinking in terms of ‘care planning after clinicians HAVE ALREADY BECOME involved’ here (so I'm not thinking about something similar within 'advance care plans' which are designed by clinicians): I’m thinking of a situation where a person whose ‘relationships’ are not all that obvious, and probably lives alone, SUDDENLY loses mental capacity.
Would it help, especially for such people who do not have spouses, children, etc to consult with, for ‘a section 4(7)(a) statement’ to be created along with things such as written Advance Decisions? I think it would – so I have cobbled together a draft form and attached it.
COMMENTS VERY WELCOME [I don't think I have ever seen any such form being promoted on the internet - has anyone else come across this type of form].
Associated files and links:
Draft MCA section 4(7)(a) statement form
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