Tags – Covid 19 Consent
Covid 19 has had a massive effect on all areas of life and every individual too, including those under the care of the Court of Protection.
Mental Capacity Act
However, it is stipulated that this only applies to decisions that the individual does not have the mental capacity to make for themselves.
Whilst they should be consulted, any decision required must be carefully considered and made in the very best interests of the person protected.
So, how does this translate to Covid testing and vaccination?
As with other Court of Protection decisions, there is no catch-all process as any decisions made must be tailored to the individual. For example, in terms of Covid 19 testing, there are multiple factors to take into account.
If someone protected by the Court lives in a care home, it might be policy to carry out testing.
A best-interest decision as to whether an individual should consent to testing would need to consider various points. For instance, just because testing might be in the best interests of society and the care home, it might not be right for the individual concerned.
Under the Court of Protection rules, the decision must be solely focused on what’s best for those protected.
As such, a deputy might want to consider the current wishes, past experience, beliefs and values of the person involved.
Similarly, any signs of symptoms should also be countered.
Like decisions made about Covid-19 testing, a decision whether or not an individual should be vaccinated should be taken carefully.
Discussions with an individual clearly setting out information is crucial and it’s important to allow them the opportunity to say how they feel.
As such, it’s useful to pick a time in the day when their mental capacity is at its best.
Any opinions and feelings they convey then need to be considered alongside the risks and benefits involved.
However, incorporating previous thoughts about vaccination and beliefs is also important.
Previous relationships with health professionals such as their GP might also be factored in. For instance, someone who had always put their trust in their GP would most likely opt for the vaccination should they have the mental capacity to decide.
Equally, if the care home’s policy was to allow visitors only if residents were vaccinated, that could certainly be considered in their best interests, moving forward.