Treating temporarily incompetent patients

BMJ 1995; 311 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.311.7010.948c (Published 07 October 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:948
  1. Kaiser Chaudhri
  1. General practitioner Broadway Surgery, Fulwood, Preston PR2 5QA

    Depression calls into question patients' capacity to refuse treatment

    EDITOR,--In the ethical debate on a doctor's legal position in treating temporarily incompetent patients Petra Wilson, a lecturer in law, expresses views that are inconsistent with current English law.1 One of the cases discussed is of a patient who had taken an overdose of co-dydramol, temporarily regained consciousness after an injection of naloxone, and then refused further treatment. Wilson argues “that, in law, it would be difficult to justify the gastric lavage of the suicide patient …

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