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Articles | Tue 3rd May, 2016
The case of LB of Southwark v KA (Capacity to Marry)  EWCOP 20 concerned a 29 year old man, KA, who had learning disabilities.
In 2014, concerns were raised that he was talking to himself, hoarding rubbish, and had a limited daily structure, unusual hand posturing, poor eating habits and personal hygiene. Assessments recorded that his family were trying to find a wife for him. At the time, it appeared that he had limited if any understanding of sexual activity or the meaning of marriage. His parents withdrew from and declined input from social services. Declarations were therefore sought that KA lacked capacity as to sexual relations, marriage, personal care and welfare.
The Court of Protection declared that KA had capacity.
With regards to sexual relations and marriage, he was on the ‘borderline’ of understanding in respect of some of the more refined evaluations. However, he had overall capacity on these matters. He had the necessary degree of understanding about the ‘mechanics of the act’. Although he did not understand the mechanics and duration of pregnancy, he saw it as a foreseeable consequence of sexual intercourse. He understood and retained the knowledge that illness was a possible consequence of sexual activity.
The decision emphasises two important aspects of the capacity assessment under s. 2 MCA 2005:
Article by Tom Rainsbury.
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