Evaluate Factors That Influence The Capacity Of An Individual To Express Consent

Every aspect of life requires consent, therefore having the ability to grant consent is essential in general. To evaluate the competence of individuals with learning challenges, data from research on human judgment and decision-making in the general population have been ignored.

There are important factors that affect a person's capacity for consent; take into account the possibility of combining studies on these factors conducted on both the general population and people with learning impairments.

In this post we will analyse factors that influence the capacity of an individual to express consent through three main comprehension processes—the ability to gather and remember information, make decisions, and communicate—are considered to affect a person's capacity to consent.

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What Factors Affect the Capacity for Consent?

Following are the factors that influence the capacity of an individual to express consent and limit consent capability. Let's go through these factors:

  1. Age
  2. Mental wellness
  3. Emotional state
  4. Physical fitness
  5. Cognitive dysfunction
  1. Age:

One of the key considerations in determining consent capability is often age. Because they often lack life experience, younger individuals may be less likely to comprehend the consequences of their choices.

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Yet, there is no set age for when someone can provide consent; rather, it depends on that person's maturity and intellect.

  1. Mental wellness:

The state of a person's mental health may also have an impact on their capacity to express approval. For instance, a person under the influence may not be able to make rational sexual judgments.

Similarly to this, individuals with mental health problems may struggle to make choices regarding healthy sexual conduct.

  1. Emotional state:

The emotional condition may also influence the capacity to consent. For example, in circumstances where one person is in a position of power over another (such as in the case of a teacher/student), the one who could be exploited by the other may not express or act on sentiments of exploitation because of fear.

  1. Physical fitness:

Exhaustion, pain, disability, and sickness are examples of physical circumstances that affect a person's ability to think clearly and communicate their decisions.

In the same way that someone asleep might not be taken into account, someone with severe arthritis could not be able to move without assistance.

  1. Cognitive dysfunction:

The severity of cognitive impairment might also affect a person's capacity to consent. People with intellectual impairments may not be able to make fully informed decisions about participating in any physical conduct because they may not be able to fully understand the ramifications of their actions or the possible outcomes. One's capacity to consent may be affected by several things, including stress levels and sleep deprivation.

In the same way that someone asleep might not be taken into account, someone with severe arthritis could not be able to move without assistance.

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Consent to Medical Treatment:

The delivery and acceptance of medical care, which are essential components of the doctor-patient interaction, are largely unaffected by the excessive influence that has been explored up to this point. We now look at situations when a patient's decision to accept or reject a course of therapy may be tainted by the influence of a third party, such as a friend, relative, or even a medical professional. This kind of improper influence is distinguished from that used in real estate deals. Staughton L.J. stated:

To evaluate factors that influence the capacity of an individual to express consent (ability to communicate the decision made) is affected by three main primary processes: comprehension (the capacity to acquire and retain information), decision-making (the capacity to balance information and come to a conclusion), and communication. The challenges that individuals with learning impairments could have in these procedures are explored, and some solutions for getting around these restrictions are offered.

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