Mental capacity in the face of need for essential treatment
This practice question has been published with the kind permission of the Royal College of Nursing
How can nurses resolve the dilemma of providing essential care and treatment when individuals lack mental capacity and are potentially unable to comply?
Situations often arise in all care settings where individuals lack capacity to make decisions about their care or treatment. This may be because of impaired cognitive ability, as can be experienced in dementia, or other underlying conditions, for example, delirium caused by infection. Clinical holding is one term used to describe a set of methods that have been devised for the safe holding of patients during therapies, treatments or procedures. Therapeutic, safe and supportive holding are other terms used in the UK.