What is the fourth principle relates to the best interest decisions?
In this regard, I consider that mental capacity is a complex area. People do not make decisions in a functional ability vacuum; they make them within their own, often complex circumstances. It is important for an assessor to be aware of and understand the factors that influence a person’s decision-making ability, in addition to any particular impairment, so that they can be distinguished from each other’s.
With regards to P, two examples of such influences might be loneliness and emotional/relational ties with his mother. I would suggest that a sociological perspective can assist in understanding the wider influences on a person and their decisions. Wright Mills states in his book The Sociological Imagination:
“The individual can understand his own experience and gauge his own fate only by locating himself within his period that he can know his own chances in life only by becoming aware of those of all individuals in his circumstances.”
Since P was assessed as having the mental capacity to make decisions about managing his personal budget, however subsequently asked his mother to manage it as he could not be bothered by it all. To demonstrate ‘understanding,’ I would, however, like to examine hypothetically what actions I might have taken if the circumstances had been different.