Mental Capacity and the Mental Capacity Act 2005 - A literature review

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Published: August 2012

This literature review was carried out to collate academic literature relating to mental capacity issues and to the implementation of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. Mental capacity is the ability to make one’s own decisions. The Mental Capacity Act (MCA), which came into force in 2007 and covers England and Wales, provides a statutory framework for supporting people to make decisions for themselves wherever possible as well as processes and safeguards for decision-making involving people who lack capacity to make their own decisions because of illness, injury or disability.

This review has collated a broad range of literature investigating various issues relating to mental capacity and the implementation of the MCA with the aim of identifying consistent themes, problem areas and any gaps in the existing literature. The largest proportion of literature relating to the MCA in England and Wales relates more specifically to issues with older people and people who have dementia.