Competency and Common Law: Why and How Decision-Making Capacity Criteria Should Be Drawn from the Capacity-Determination Process
Author(s)Baron, Charles H.
Oregon Death with Dignity Act
Rights of Patients
Food and Drug Law
Health Law and Policy
Human Rights Law
Law and Society
Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility
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AbstractDetermining competence to request physician-assisted suicide should be no more difficult than determining competence to refuse life-prolonging treatment. In both cases, criteria and procedures should be developed out of the process of actually making capacity determinations; they should not be promulgated a priori. Because patient demeanor plays a critical role in capacity determinations, it should be made part of the record of such determinations through greater use of video- and audiotapes.