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Best interests, mental capacity legislation and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

  • Brendan D. Kelly
Summary

‘Best interests' is a key principle of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (England and Wales), Mental Capacity Bill (2014) (Northern Ireland) and Mental Health Act 2001 (Ireland), although there are currently proposals to remove ‘best interests' from Irish legislation. Legislation in Scotland refers to ‘benefit’ resulting from interventions. Judicious use of ‘best interests', in line with guidelines that prioritise the person's autonomy, will and preferences, is a powerful way to promote the values and rights that underpin the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and to safeguard the dignity of individuals with mental disorder and/or reduced mental capacity.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Professor Brendan D. Kelly, Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Department of Adult Psychiatry, UCD School of Medicine and Medical Science, University College Dublin, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, 62/63 Eccles Street, Dublin 7, Ireland. Email: brendankelly35@gmail.com
Footnotes
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Learning Objectives

Appreciate the relevance and meanings of the principle of best interests Understand the implications of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for mental capacity legislation and related practice Understand recent proposals to merge mental health and mental capacity legislation into a single legislative framework (e.g. in Northern Ireland)

Declaration of Interest

None

Footnotes
References
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Best interests, mental capacity legislation and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

  • Brendan D. Kelly
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