The role of family in best interests decisions
Under s4(7) MCA, if a person lacks the mental capacity to make a decision for themselves, then best interests decision makers must (amongst other things):
... take into account, if it is practicable and appropriate to consult them, the views of—(a) anyone named by the person as someone to be consulted on the matter in question or on matters of that kind,(b) anyone engaged in caring for the person or interested in his welfare,(c) any donee of a lasting power of attorney granted by the person, and(d) any deputy appointed for the person by the court, as to what would be in the person's best interests and, in particular, as to the matters mentioned in subsection (6)
The tools developed by the above organisations include template letters for situations where families feel excluded from decision processes or from decisions which have been taken, which will be very useful for a range of situations. The information and resources are certainly very much needed. One of the questions I am asked most frequently by carers, and in particular parent carers, is 'what about my views?', and this is often conjoined with an expression that they - not 'experts' - know the person best. I respond by pointing them to s4(7) MCA, and the duty of best interests decision makers to consult those involved in caring for a person.