The British Journal of Psychiatry

Authors’ reply: The test for decision-making capacity in common law countries is not the test outlined by Zhong et al.

Dr Ryan’s comparison of UK and Commonwealth jurisdictions versus American jurisdictions highlights important differences in the letter of the law. He rightly states that the ‘four abilities model’ arises from American case law. Reference Berg, Appelbaum and Grisso1 The UK and Commonwealth nations have independently developed tests of capacity. Fortunately for medical practitioners who must navigate the difficult waters of comparative jurisprudence, the underlying concepts remain essentially the same.