Necessary and unnecessary complexity in decision-making capacity – and ‘lifestyle choice’

Those who might want to think a bit more about ‘lifestyle choice’ in the light of current headlines might find of some potential interest / use this talk which I gave to the Royal College of Psychiatrists Faculty of Neuropsychiatry conference in September 2023 [fn], in which the term ‘lifestyle choice’ features significantly.   A couple of notes;

(1) The title of the talk I was asked to give was ‘decision-making capacity in vulnerable groups’: I talk about the freighted meaning of the word ‘vulnerable’ early on in the presentation.

(2) I am not suggesting that all choices that appear difficult are made without capacity, but the talk might help think this issue through more clearly.  And even if the person has capacity to make the relevant decision, ‘choice’ might be thought to be a challenging way in which to think about a situation in which options have not been put on the table for them.


The slides are here.

The project I refer to about capacity and multiple exclusion homelessness has now started, the project page can be found here.

[fn] A talk which, entirely coincidentally, I had to record because I was unable to attend in person – hence the opening minute or so – but which is hopefully of wider relevance.

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