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Mental Capacity in Relationship
Decision-Making, Dialogue, and Autonomy


Part of Cambridge Bioethics and Law

  • Date Published: December 2018
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316615706

£ 22.99

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About the Authors
  • Recent legal developments challenge how valid the concept of mental capacity is in determining whether individuals with impairments can make decisions about their care and treatment. Kong defends a concept of mental capacity but argues that such assessments must consider how relationships and dialogue can enable or disable the decision-making abilities of these individuals. This is thoroughly investigated using an interdisciplinary approach that combines philosophy and legal analysis of the law in England and Wales, the European Court of Human Rights, and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. By exploring key concepts underlying mental capacity, the investigation concludes that both primary relationships and capacity assessments themselves must display key competencies to ensure that autonomy skills are promoted and encouraged. This ultimately provides scope for justifiable interventions into disabling relationships and articulates the dialogical practices that help better situate, interpret, and understand the choices and actions of individuals with impairments.

    • Puts forward a more nuanced and relational concept of mental capacity that is key to determining how relationships affect the decision making of individuals with impairments
    • Offers a more shared account of philosophical concepts which would include, rather than exclude, the experiences of individuals with impairments
    • Utilises an interdisciplinary approach which draws upon eclectic philosophical theories and legal analysis to provide a rich analysis of the medico-juridical concept of mental capacity
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'In summary, this is an ambitious and timely book which provides an important theoretical contribution to the ongoing debates on the MCA 2005 [Mental Capacity Act] and the implications of the CRPD [Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities]. It will appeal to lawyers, philosophers, ethicists, and practitioners given its engagement and reflection on both theory and practice.' Beverly Clough, Medical Law Review

    'Kong is amongst a small number who combine masterful deftness with both deeply rigorous philosophical analysis and practically engaged, applicable ideas. Her insights speak clearly to multiple disciplines, critiquing and re-explaining the law, and generating considered, justified practical recommendations on the interpretation and development of law … In short, her book is truly revolutionary, but also manifestly realistic. Her critical and practical suggestions warrant sustained engagement in academic policy debates, and the book is to be recommended to any reader with an interest in mental capacity and law.' John Coggon, Journal of Law and Society

    'Camillia Kong's book, Mental Capacity in Relationship, is an important contribution to debates over mental capacity. It combines philosophical, psychological and legal materials in an effective and stimulating discussion of the topic. It is particularly timely given the debates over the nature of the capacity in light of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It is an excellent, sophisticated, analysis of the issues.' Jonathan Herring, Legal Studies

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2018
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316615706
    • length: 275 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 153 x 13 mm
    • weight: 0.41kg
    • contains: 1 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Problems with mental capacity
    2. Mental capacity, legal capacity, and relational rights
    3. Relational autonomy and the promotion of decisional capacity
    4. Procedural reasoning and the social space of reasons in capacity assessments
    5. Ethical duties of support and intervention
    6. Hermeneutic competence and the dialogical conditions of capacity
    7. Rethinking capacity.

  • Author

    Camillia Kong, University of Kent, Canterbury
    Camillia Kong is a lecturer in philosophy at the University of Kent and research associate at the Ethox Centre, University of Oxford. Her research interests include philosophical issues surrounding mental disorder, mental capacity, and the ethics of psychiatry. She was awarded funding for research into this book from the British Academy.

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