Dementia. Legal issues in consent.
Aust Fam Physician | Published : 2002
BACKGROUND: Doctors must generally obtain a patient's consent for a medical procedure before it is undertaken. When a patient has impaired mental capacity, the doctor may be uncertain whether the patient is competent to consent and decide that consent must be obtained from someone else. recent legislation gives legal authority to people appointed by the patient, or by the state; or a relative or carer, to consent (or refuse) on behalf of the patient. OBJECTIVE: This paper explains the general legal requirements to obtain consent; a how a patient's competence is assessed; and the people who may legally consent (or refuse) on behalf of an incompetent patient. A case study illustrates how the l..View full abstract