Capacity Assessment and the Law

Problems and Solutions

  • Kelly┬áPurser

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Kelly Purser
    Pages 29-54
  3. Kelly Purser
    Pages 55-91
  4. Kelly Purser
    Pages 93-128
  5. Kelly Purser
    Pages 129-148
  6. Kelly Purser
    Pages 165-192
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 193-194

About this book


This book discusses theoretical issues, standards, and professional considerations arising when legal and health practitioners undertake legal capacity assessments in the context of wills, enduring powers of attorney and advance health directives. The potential loss of cognition can erode autonomy as individuals lose the ability to make their own legally recognised decisions. This is an inescapable problem with significant legal, social, health and policy repercussions. This work synthesises and critically analyses the existing literature, including some of the best assessment models and guiding principles internationally, to generate a new methodology and understanding of what capacity assessment best practice means. This includes the impact of assessments on individual autonomy - the ideal method building upon respect for both autonomy as well as fundamental human rights. The triggers to assess capacity, who to involve in the assessment process, as well as how to conduct that assessment process are discussed. The crucial relationship between the legal and health professionals involved in assessments, including growing concerns around practitioner liability, is also explored. This analysis is undertaken through the innovative use of a therapeutic jurisprudence lens, the effect of which is to contribute new knowledge to this complex field.


Capacity assessment Competency Substitute decision-making Supported decision-making Wills

Authors and affiliations

  • Kelly┬áPurser
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Law, Australian Centre for Health Law ResearchQueensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing AG 2017
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Law and Criminology
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-54345-1
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-54347-5
  • Buy this book on publisher's site