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Key terms used in the MCA DoLS legislation

Use this guide to help you understand the key terms used in the Mental Capacity Act, Deprivation of Liberty Safeguard legislation.

Key terms used in the MCA DoLS legislation includes:

  • supervisory body - the local authority responsible for receiving notifications that a deprivation of liberty is occurring and arranging assessments to see if the requirements are met
  • managing authority - this is the person or body with management responsibility for the hospital or care home in which a person is being, or may be, deprived of their liberty
  • standard authorisation - this permits lawful deprivation of liberty and is issues by a managing authority
  • urgent authorisation - this permits lawful deprivation of liberty and is issued by a managing authority 
  • relevant person - this is a person who needs to be deprived of their liberty
  • relevant persons representative - this is a person who represents the relevant person
  • best interest assessor - this is the person who assesses whether or not deprivation of liberty us in the person's best interest, is necessary to prevent harm to the person and is a proportionate response to the likelihood and seriousness of that harm
  • advance decision - this is a decision to refuse specified treatment made in advance by a person who has capacity to do so. The decision will then apply at a future time when that person lacks capacity to consent to, or refuse, the specified treatment. Specific rules apply to advanced decisions to refuse life sustaining treatment
  • Donee of Lasting Power of Attorney - this is a person appointed under a lasting power of attorney (which has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian) who has the legal right to make decisions within the scope of their authority on behalf of the person (the donor) who made the lasting power of attorney
  • Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) - this is a person who provides support and representation for a person who lacks capacity to make specific decisions in certain defined circumstances. The IMCA was established by the Mental Capacity Act and is not the same as an ordinary advocacy service