Bound to Treatment: The Ulysses Contract
Hastings Center Report. 1984 Jun; 14(3): 13-16.
Several commentators have proposed a novel legal mechanism, the "Ulysses contract" or "voluntary commitment contract," to permit mental patients with recurrent treatable disorders to consent in advance to treatment which they might reject at a time when their cognitive abilities are impaired. Dresser discusses the legal ramifications of precommitment, the implications of basing consent on a patient's past rather than current wishes, problems of enforcing Ulysses contracts given the uncertainties of psychiatric diagnosis, and the inherent paternalism of these precommitment agreements. (KIE abstract)
Autonomy; Coercion; Competence; Contracts; Consent; Diagnosis; Evaluation; Informed Consent; Involuntary Commitment; Legal Aspects; Living Wills; Paternalism; Patients; Patients' Rights; Psychiatric Diagnosis; Psychiatric Wills; Public Policy; Rights; Risks and Benefits; Standards; State Interest; Treatment Refusal; Voluntary Admission; Wills;