20 Chapter 20: Change of Title
362. Finally, several witnesses have suggested to
us that the title "Mental Incapacity Bill" was inappropriate
and had negative connotations. They argued that the draft Bill
was intended to recognise and give effect to the right to make
decisions. They preferred "Mental Capacity Bill" which
they saw as a more accurate description of the Bill, as well as
more positive and reassuring.
363. We agree that the test of mental capacity, rather
than incapacity, is central to the Bill. The question of perception
is even more important. The Bill must strike the right note. It
should avoid the pejorative implications of incapacity and instil
confidence in those it is intended to serve.
364. We looked at possible
alternatives, such as "Assisted (or Proxy) Decision Making"
but preferred the simple but accurate change from "Incapacity"
to "Capacity". We hope that such a change might also
symbolise the much-needed change in public understanding and attitudes
to which we refer in Chapter 1.
365. Accordingly, we recommend that consideration
be given to changing the Bill's title to the "Mental Capacity
373 Ev 17 September Q166, (Mr Broach) 21 October Q653
(Ms.Aspis) and Q674 (Mr Allen) Back
See paragraphs 30 and 31 Back