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Legal aspects of dementia care 

Legal aspects of dementia care
Legal aspects of dementia care

Jonathan Waite

, Rowan H. Harwood

, Ian R. Morton

, and David J. Connelly

Page of

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date: 18 April 2021

Legal aspects of capacity 284

Personal and medical care 286

Planning for future incapacity 290

Appointed decision-makers 294

Specific tests of capacity 296

Deprivation of liberty 298

Sexual offences 301

Summary 302

Caring for a person with dementia may involve performing many acts that in other circumstances could be regarded as illegal. Even touching someone without their consent might constitute an assault, so there are potential difficulties in bathing, dressing, or administering medication to a person who lacks capacity to consent to these procedures. In almost all countries there are laws to authorize such care. This chapter is written in the light of UK legislation, specifically that for England and Wales. Northern Ireland has no incapacity law at present, but the government has announced its intention to introduce a measure based on the English Mental Capacity Act (MCA). The wording in the Scottish Adults with Incapacity Act (AWI) is somewhat different but the underlying principles are virtually identical....

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