PURPOSE

The purpose of this toolkit is to guide health practitioners, including doctors, psychologists, nurses, occupational therapists (clinicians) and social workers when assessing an adult’s capacity to make a decision(s).

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.

A list of useful resources is provided at the end of the toolkit.

  © 2019 Alison Douglass