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Assessment of Decision-Making Capacity 

Assessment of Decision-Making Capacity
Chapter:
Assessment of Decision-Making Capacity
Author(s):

Abhishek Jain

and Kurt D. Ackerman

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199329311.003.0009
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date: 10 April 2020

Psychiatric consultants often help determine whether or not a patient has sufficient capacity to make decisions regarding his or her medical care. Decision-making capacity typically comprises four abilities: communication, understanding, appreciation, and reasoning. These evaluations involve balancing patient autonomy and beneficence; they can be complex and emotionally charged; they may allow an opportunity for collaboration among providers, families, and patients; and they require the skillful integration of law and ethics, medical knowledge, and the art of patient engagement.

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