When the Patient Lacks Decision-Making Capacity
Erlen, Judith A.
Orthopaedic Nursing. 1995 Jul-Aug; 14(4): 51-54.
Our society supports the right of its members to be self-determining and to make decisions based on their personal values and beliefs. However, what happens when a person lacks the capacity to make decisions? The author identifies criteria for determining decision-making capacity and discusses the surrogate decision maker, the best interests standard, and the substituted judgment standard. Nursing implications focusing on treating the patient with dignity and respect and protecting the patient's rights are discussed.