Health care workers often perceive a conflict between autonomy and beneficence when dealing with clients living at risk in the community. Respect for personal freedom and the desire to help and protect vulnerable People frequently appear to demand opposite interventions. The assessment of decision-making capacity is a vital part of any process that deals with these complicated situations and can resolve some of the apparent conflict. Standardized assessment tools which are flexible enough to deal with the complexities of capacity assessment are needed. Health care workers aim to maximize the safety of People incapable of making decisions while protecting the freedom and autonomy of the capable. Some limits to autonomy must be accepted, especially where others’ interests are threatened.