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Box 3

In order to demonstrate capacity to give or withold consent for medical treatment, an individual should be able to:

  • Understand in simple language what the medical treatment is, its purpose and nature and why it is being proposed
  • Understand its principal benefits, risks and alternatives
  • Understand in broad terms what will be the consequences of not receiving the proposed treatment
  • Retain the information for long enough to make an effective decision
  • Believe the information
  • Weigh the information in the balance
  • Make a free choice (i.e. uncoerced).

From: 6, Consent

Cover of Self-Harm
Self-Harm: The Short-Term Physical and Psychological Management and Secondary Prevention of Self-Harm in Primary and Secondary Care.
NICE Clinical Guidelines, No. 16.
National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health (UK).
Leicester (UK): British Psychological Society; 2004.
Copyright © 2004, The British Psychological Society & The Royal College of Psychiatrists.

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