There are many ways to assess mental capacity. In the dictionary there is enough overlap between the connotations and definitions of these words to explain the ambiguity. Although the terms are often used interchangeably, competence is a legal term that is determined by the court system, whereas capacity is … Lawyers need to understand the interplay between dementia and the rules of professional conduct, Michigan statutes, and caselaw on capacity and competency. While our dictionaries may not allow us to differentiate too precisely between these three terms, the following is an attempt to do so. Competence is a legal term. Competence is presumed unless a court has determined that an individual is incompetent. In any academic conversation, it is critical to ensure that all participants understand the shared lexicon. What is this about? This is even more important concerning the topic of competency and capacity - an ethically and legally charged subject, that if not understood or executed properly can contribute to patient harm and legal action against medical providers. terms competence, capability and capacity. Mental capacity is a functional term that may be defined as: the "mental (or cognitive) ability to understand the nature and effects of one's acts.". Decision-making capacity, on the other hand, is a clinical term that is task-specific. While competence deals with current state, capability focuses on the ability to develop and flex to meet Future needs. Competence “Capability” is the term that describes the quality of being capable. RELEVANT DEFINITIONS. Competence is a legal term and a process that speaks to determining the capability of a person to act on his or her own behalf or have the mental capacity to participate in legal proceedings or transactions (e.g., business, medical decisions). How to use capacity in a sentence. comprehension, competence, communion, creativity and coping (John Stephenson, 1994) The definition of capability is the qualities, abilities, capacity, and potential to be developed. A judicial declaration of incompetence may be global, or it may be limited (e.g., to financial matters, personal care, or medical decisions). Even the thesaurus and dictionary definitions suggest they are alternatives for each other. Competency is a legal term, defined as: "duly qualified: having sufficient capacity, ability, or authority [Black's Law Dictionary].. They are often mentioned in many Human Resources related materials, as well as in career and job communications. Right now the terms competence, capability and capacity are often used interchangeably. Capability vs. Competency “Competency” and “capability” are two terms that pertain to human ability. Understanding Capability, Competence, and Capacity. How to use competency in a sentence. 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