Anything You Do Not Say Can Be Used against You: Volitional Refusal to Engage in Decisional Capacity Assessment

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Abstract

AbstractThe most widely accepted model of decisional capacity assessment requires that a patient communicate a clear and consistent choice to the evaluator. This approach works effectively when patients prove unable to express a choice owing to physical, psychological, or cognitive limitations. In contrast, the approach raises ethics concerns when applied to patients who volitionally refuse to communicate a choice. This article examines the ethical issues that arise in such cases and offers a rubric for addressing decisional capacity under such circumstances.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-210
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Ethics
Volume34
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2023

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