Evaluating patients for impaired medical decisional capacity: An overview of ethical and clinical issues

Maxwell Rovner*, Willie Mae Jackson, Stephen H. Dinwiddie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

An impaired ability to make treatment decisions is commonplace but often overlooked among medical and psychiatric patients. Evaluation of a patient’s ability to meaningfully make treatment decisions is a complex exercise in clinical judgment, requiring careful attention to the effect of the patient’s symptoms and the contextual features of the specific decision at hand. This article is a broad overview of the ethical and clinical aspects of decisional capacity that every physician needs to be familiar with to negotiate this challenging aspect of medical practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)417-421
Number of pages5
JournalPsychiatric Annals
Volume45
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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