best interests principle
best interests principleA principle which is promulgated by the UK’s General Medical Council to provide guidance in deciding what options may be reasonably considered for a patient who lacks the capacity to provide informed consent to undergo, or refuse to undergo, a procedure, by taking into account:
• Options for treatment or investigation which are clinically indicated;
• Any evidence of the patient's previously expressed preferences, including an advance statement;
• The doctor’s and health care team's knowledge of the patient's background, such as cultural, religious, or employment considerations;
• Views about the patient's preferences given by a third party who may have other knowledge of the patient—for example the patient's partner, family, carer, tutor-dative (Scotland) or a person with parental responsibility;
• Which option least restricts the patient's future choices, if more than one option (including non-treatment) seems reasonable in the patient's best interest.
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