Mental Capacity Act 2005 & Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

Mental Capacity Act 2005 & Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (INTRODUCTION)


Welcome to MCA 2005 & DoLS

This course is designed to guide you through the framework for assessing the ability of an individuals to make a specific decision on their behalf if necessary.

Giving consent to any decision of making a decision on behalf of someone who has not got the capacity to make the decision for themselves is a fundamental part of law.


Throughout this course there will be a serious of videos and case studies and it is recommended that you watch and read these for your own learning. There will be a serious of activities and multiple choice questions throughout also to assess your knowledge and understanding. You will answer only one question at a time and you can attempt this as many times as you need until you answer each one correctly.

I hope you enjoy the course and good luck! 


1. What is the Mental Capacity Act, when it came into force and for what reason.

2. The 5 statutory principles and code of practice.

3. What (DoLS) Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards is  and our responsibilities to it.

4. The (DoLS) Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards process


Click on the following four 'hot spots' to see a summary of the four important pieces of legislation  which is relevant to this course.

As you go through this course, it will cover more on each of these pieces of legislation


This is an Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom which on November 9th, 1998 received Royal Assent and mostly came into force on October 2nd, 2000. Its aim was to incorporate into UK law the rights contained in the European Convention of Human Rights. The Act makes remedy for breach of a Convention Right available in the UK courts, without the need to go to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg.

What is the Mental Capacity Act 2005


The  Mental  Capacity  Act  (MCA)  2005  was  introduced  to  provide  a  legal framework for working with people over 16 who may lack  capacity to make decisions about their care and treatment. It is intended to empower people to make their own decisions where they are able and protect people who lack capacity by keeping them central to decision-making.

Health and social care professionals have a legal duty to consider the MCA Code  of  Practice  when  working  with  people  whose  ability  to  make  an informed decision may fluctuate and can be shown to lack capacity to make a particular decision e.g. to consent to care or treatment.

The  Act  affects  a  whole  range  of  people  and  is  therefore  a  very  important piece of legislation.

Professionals they think will be affected by this legislation include:

•  People working in a professional capacity, e.g. doctors, nurses, dentists and social workers

•  People who are paid to care or support, e.g. home care workers and care assistants

•  Anyone who is a deputy appointed by the Court of Protection

•  Anyone acting as an independent mental capacity advocate(IMCA)

•  Anyone carrying out research involving people who may lack capacity.

The people the Act is there to protect include:

•  People with dementia

•  People with learning disabilities (especially severe learning disability)

•  People with brain injury

•  People with severe mental illness

•  People suffering temporary loss of capacity, example because somebody is unconscious because of an accident or anesthesia or because of alcohol or drugs or may have an infection.

•  and anyone planning for their future.


Makes it a criminal offence to willfully neglect someone without capacity.

Supports difficulties a person may have with a particular issue (decision specific).

Makes provision for people to plan ahead for a time when they may need support. This introduces advanced decisions to refuse treatment.

Upholds the principles of best interest for the individuals concerned.

The Five Principles of Mental Capacity


Principle 1: Presume Capacity.

A person must be assumed to have capacity unless it is established that they lack capacity.


Principle 2: Right to be supported to make own decisions.

A  person  is  not  to  be  treated  as unable to make a decision unless all practicable steps to help them to do so have been taken without success.


Principle 3: Right to be unwise.

A person is not to be treated as unable to make a decision merely because they make an unwise decision.


Principle 4: Best Interest Principle.

An act done, or decision made, under this Act for or on behalf of a person who lacks capacity must be done, or made, in their best interests.


Principle 5: Least Restrictive Principle.

Before the act is done, or the decision is made, regard  must  be  had  to  whether  the  purpose  for  which  it  is needed  can  be effectively achieved in a way that is less restrictive of the person’s rights and freedom of action.

Untitled fill in the blanks question

The burden of proving that a person lacks capacity rests upon the Valid consent means that there is lawful for you to act. Every adult who is  of age or over is assumed to have capacity to make his / her own decision. The MCA aims to  the ability to people to make their own decision, participate in decisions as far as they are able and people who lack capacity.