Capacity means being able to make decisions for yourself. You have capacity to make a decision if you can:
- understand and retain information relating to the decision;
- understand the consequences of any choice you make;
- take that information into account; and
- communicate your wishes.
If you are unable to do one of these things then you ‘lack capacity.’ There are lots of reasons a person might lack capacity. For example, you may lack capacity if you are unconscious, have dementia, have a mental health condition, have a brain injury or have had a stroke. Whether you have capacity is decided on a decision-by-decision basis.
For more information, please see guidance on capacity.