If the assessment is about a medical decision, the clinician who is providing the treatment should assess the person’s capacity to consent to that treatment, though they may consult others for assistance. 

Where the decision is about other matters such as personal welfare, living arrangements or property matters, it is usually best for a clinician who is well-known to the person, for example, the family GP, to do the assessment.  Where this is not the case, particular attention will need to be given to the process of engagement, and, in the case of Māori, whakawhanaungatanga.

In cases of doubt, or in relation to complex major decisions, it may be advisable to collaborate with other health practitioners with experience in relation to the needs of the person, such as a nurse, occupational therapist, psychologist, or speech and language therapist.

Final responsibility for obtaining effective consent for treatment rests with the person intending to carry out the proposed medical procedure, not with other health practitioners advising about capacity.


  © 2020 Alison Douglass