A Problem With Refusing Certain Forms of Psychiatric Treatment
Social Science and Medicine. 1985; 20(6): 645-648.
Perry raises the issue of a drug-induced competent patient's right to refuse the drug therapy necessary to maintain competence. Assuming that forced treatment of a manic patient to restore competence is justified on the grounds of beneficence and prevention of harm to self or third parties, is the administration of drugs to maintain competence against the patient's wishes a violation of his or her autonomy? Perry draws parallels between a competent patient's right to refuse life-saving medical care, and a temporarily competent patient's right to refuse psychoactive drugs, but concludes that the latter's refusal may be disregarded without violating patient autonomy on the grounds that one is not free to surrender autonomy for its own sake, but only in an attempt to gain something else. (KIE abstract)
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