Neurosurgery for mentally ill given go ahead in Scotland

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: (Published 14 September 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:644

Mentally ill patients who are incapable of giving consent should still be given neurosurgery to alleviate symptoms if doctors think it is in their best interests, a government working party has recommended.

The decision, which has been criticised by mental health charities, was taken after a detailed review of the arrangements for neurosurgery for mental disorder in Scotland. It has concluded that neurosurgery should be used only as a last resort; should never be given to patients who resist or object to it; and should be given to patients incapable of consenting only after a number of safeguards are observed. The working party recommends that every operation on an incapable patient should be approved …

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