All-or-Nothing: Capacity, Vulnerability and Autonomy

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


This paper is concerned with the role of ‘Capacity’ as a conceptual basis for the law’s understanding and treatment of individuals with mental health concerns and mental disabilities. Focusing on the binary nature of the Capacity paradigm under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, it seeks to argue in favour of a more nuanced understanding of and response to circumstances of incapacity and partial capacity. Drawing on Martha Fineman’s and Alan Gewirth’s conceptions of Vulnerability, the Social Model of Disability and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, it argues in favour of a spectral approach to issues of capacity and autonomy. Under this framework, emphasis is drawn towards supported decision making through the lens of (Human) Rights; it does so by directing the discussion towards the means of exercising one’s rights rather than whether or not rights are held.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventSocio-Legal Studies Association 2018 - University of Bristol
Duration: 27 Apr 2018 → …


ConferenceSocio-Legal Studies Association 2018
Period27/04/18 → …

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    Thompson, J. (2018). All-or-Nothing: Capacity, Vulnerability and Autonomy. Abstract from Socio-Legal Studies Association 2018, .