Skip to main content

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 and mature minors: a missed opportunity?

Buy Article:

$55.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)


English law ostensibly offers significant respect for personal autonomy in medical decision-making. However, in relation to some patients who make unwise decisions, or who have difficulty in understanding and engaging with information when presented in the traditional manner, the courts have interfered with autonomy by making doubtful findings of incapacity. The Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) seeks to prevent interference with autonomy on the basis of such dubious findings of incapacity with respect to those aged over 16. It is argued here that, in the light of increasing evidence of children's abilities and the trajectory of children's interests, the failure to extend this protection to mature minors under the age of 16 is a missed opportunity.

Keywords: Mental Capacity Act 2005; autonomy; children; medical decision-making

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: School of Law, University of Sheffield, UK

Publication date: 2011-06-01

More about this publication?
  • Access Key
  • Free ContentFree content
  • Partial Free ContentPartial Free content
  • New ContentNew content
  • Open Access ContentOpen access content
  • Partial Open Access ContentPartial Open access content
  • Subscribed ContentSubscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed ContentPartial Subscribed content
  • Free Trial ContentFree trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more