Letters

Ways of assessing capacity to complete an advance directive should be developed

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.316.7140.1321 (Published 25 April 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:1321
  1. Seena Fazel, Wellcome research registrar,
  2. Tony Hope, Director,
  3. Robin Jacoby, Clinical reader
  1. ETHOX, Division of Public Health and Primary Health Care, Institute of Health Sciences, Headington, Oxford OX3 7LF
  2. Section of Old Age Psychiatry, University of Oxford, Warneford Hospital, Oxford OX3 7JX

    EDITOR—The green paper Who Decides? highlights two central issues: whether advance directives should have a statutory basis, and how capacity should be assessed in patients who may be unable to make decisions for themselves.1 A potentially important problem brings these two issues together: how should doctors assess the capacity of a patient to complete an advance directive?

    Healthy people may not be well placed to make decisions concerning their future incompetent selves1 because …

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