Ways of assessing capacity to complete an advance directive should be developedBMJ 1998; 316 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.316.7140.1321 (Published 25 April 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:1321
- Seena Fazel, Wellcome research registrar,
- Tony Hope, Director,
- Robin Jacoby, Clinical reader
- ETHOX, Division of Public Health and Primary Health Care, Institute of Health Sciences, Headington, Oxford OX3 7LF
- 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 …