Jack's Capacity

Assessing Jack’s capacity

Who can undertake capacity assessments?
(please select all that apply)

Which of the following should be used to assess Jack’s capacity?

Assessing Jack’s decision-making capacity

View more of Jack’s story below as his treatment continues.

In the meantime you have taken time to talk to Jack and explain the most immediate medical issue of likely dehydration and the proposed plan for rehydration. You also discussed the importance of a routine blood test to determine Jack’s organ function and explained the likely consequences of untreated dehydration.

When asked if Jack understood why Coral and the hospital staff were concerned about his health, Jack was unable to re-state in his own words why he had been brought to hospital or recall the proposed treatment, stating “I don’t know, I’ll be fine if I’m just left alone, I just want to go home”.

Now let’s determine Jack’s decision-making capacity using the criteria set out in Hunter and New England Area Health Service v A [2009] NSWSC 761

Please rate Jack’s comprehension and retention of diagnostic and treatment information, in particular as to the consequences of the decision.

(1=very poor, 10= very good)

Please rate Jack’s ability to use and weigh the information as part of the process of making the decision.

(1=very poor, 10= very good)


Based upon your scoring using the above criteria; do you think Jack has decision-making capacity?

As a consequence of Jack’s impaired decision-making capacity relating to the proposed plan of care and treatment, his decision about this plan cannot be considered valid or informed. An alternative avenue of consent for this is therefore required.