In this issue of CHEST (see page 421), Dr Chow and colleagues1 offer the language and a simple tool to teach this basic clinical skill. Their mnemonic, CURVES (Choose and Communicate, Understand, Reason, Value, Emergency, Surrogate), provides an approach to assessing decision-making capacity. CURVES does not make this assessment easy. It does not obviate the need to train clinicians in the sometimes difficult process of ascertaining whether a patient or family member truly Understands the decision at hand, whether they are able to provide an adequate Reason for their decision, and whether the decision is consistent with their Values. This can be a complex determination and, at times, can require consultation with a psychiatrist or ethics consultant. CURVES does not make this process simple. However, CURVES provides a simple tool for teaching this process and, in doing so, makes a significant contribution.