Moral-Psychological Development Related to the Capacity of Adolescents and Elderly Patients to Consent
Journal of Medical Ethics 2008 August; 34(8): 602-605
Objective: To evaluate moral development as an indicator of the capacity to consent among two groups of patients from the Hospital de Clínicas in Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil. Method: Fifty-nine adolescents and 60 patients over 60 years of age participated in a cross-sectional study to assess moral development using Loevinger?s model of ego stages. Results: Age and moral development showed no association, with most participants in the two groups being in the conscientious phase. Conclusions: Age is probably not an adequate variable to measure decision-making capacity, because questions of medical consent relate to participants? own personal health. Decision-making capacity should be viewed as a continuous function. While the age of the person whose consent is needed should be considered, age alone, from a moral perspective, is not the main determinant of this capacity.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.