Does Depression Invalidate Competence? Consultants' Ethical, Psychiatric, and Legal Considerations

Abstract
The ethical principle of respect for autonomy has come into its own In American medicine since World War II as equal in importance to the traditional medicomoral principles of nonmaleficence and beneficence. Respect for autonomy provides the ethical underpinning for the patient's right to exercise an informed choice – whether to consent to or to refuse recommended medical treatment. However, an informed choice demands a certain level of competence. Typical criteria for patient competence to accept or to refuse medical treatments Include ability to make a choice and ability to comprehend the nature of the treatment, as well as the risks and benefits of accepting or refusing the treatment
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M. Ratcliffe (2012). Varieties of Temporal Experience in Depression. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 37 (2):114-138.
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