Marriage and Sexual Relations Mental Capacity Assessments
Marriage and sexual relations are two of the most intimate acts that people can enter into and the decision to interfere with such decisions is of huge significance. However, there are some occasions where a person’s ability to make decisions about marriage and sexual relations are called into question and it can sometimes be a very a very fine line between promoting a person’s autonomy to make their own decisions and protecting them.
I am instructed by individuals, solicitors and local authorities who require robust, high quality mental capacity assessments. As a consultant Social Worker, I am well placed to complete mental capacity assessments for you concerning a person’s ability make decisions about marriage and sexual relations. I have a significant amount of experience as a practitioner and have completed hundreds of mental capacity assessments since 2009. I In addition, I am a qualified expert witness and instructed to complete mental capacity assessments ahead of legal proceedings.
How is it decided whether a person lacks capacity?
The assessment process itself involves involve meeting the person (either face-to-face) and consulting their network of support. The actual assessment framework for this type of decision is contained within the Mental Capacity Act and recent case-law. This ensures that an objective assessment is completed each time and isn’t subject to personal opinion or assumptions about a particular diagnosis or someone’s age.
When completing a mental capacity assessment for this decision, I adopt best practice principles and adhere to the professional standard of the professional registration and membership bodies I belong to. They are Social Work England, Social Care Wales and the British Association of Social Workers.
How long will the assessment take?
Once instructed, I aim to complete my mental capacity assessments within 10 days with the actual assessment visit usually lasting between 1-2 hours. If, however you require an assessment completed urgently, please let me know and I will do everything I can to meet your specific timescales.
What happens if a person is assessed as lacking capacity?
If the outcome of the assessment is that the person lacks the mental capacity to make the decision, don’t worry. The assessment process is about protecting people’s wishes and autonomy as much as anything else. It’s a process that ensures that people aren’t discriminated against and make decisions for themselves where they’re able to. My assessment will record the person’s wishes and feelings and can be used in court to assist a judge when making a best interests decision.