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Consent, competency and ECT: some critical suggestions

Authors
Journal
Journal of Medical Ethics
0306-6800
Publisher
BMJ
Publication Date
Keywords
  • Symposium
Disciplines
  • Medicine
  • Philosophy

Abstract

Should the `irrational' refusal to consent to ECT of a depressed patient who knows he is thought to be ill, knows that his doctor believes ECT will help him and knows that he is being asked to decide, be respected or overridden? The author of the first paper, an American bioethicist argues that the refusal should be overridden in the interests of fostering the autonomy of the patient by overcoming the impediment to that autonomy which major depression represents. A philosopher and a psychiatrist respond and an editorial discusses the issues.

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