Informed Consent for Major Medical Treatment of Mentally Disabled People
Sundram, Clarence J.
New England Journal of Medicine. 1988 May 26; 318(21): 1368-1373.
The author describes a pilot program, authorized by the New York legislature and administered by the New York State Commission on Quality of Care for the Mentally Disabled, to obtain surrogate consent to major medical treatment for incompetent mentally disabled persons without family members or legal guardians. Volunteer, informal, interdisciplinary committees constitute the decision making bodies. Sundrum concludes that, based on the results of the first year's operation of the program and its generally favorable reception by health care providers and advocates for the mentally disabled, these volunteer committees are an effective alternative to judicial decision making. He suggests that this type of program may be applicable to other groups of incompetent persons who lack surrogate decision makers. (KIE abstract)
Alternatives; Clinical Ethics; Clinical Ethics Committees; Competence; Consent; Decision Making; Disabled Persons; Ethics; Ethics Committees; Evaluation; Family Members; Government; Guardians; Health; Health Care; Informed Consent; Institutionalized Persons; Legal Aspects; Legal Guardians; Legislation; Mentally Disabled Persons; Patient Advocacy; Patient Care; Program Descriptions; Risks and Benefits; State Government; Surgery; Third Party Consent; Treatment Refusal; Volunteers;
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