Evaluating Decision Making Capacity in Older Individuals: Does the Law Give a Clue?

4 Laws -- MDPI Open Access 164 (2015)

FSU College of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 753

9 Pages Posted: 24 May 2015

See all articles by Marshall B. Kapp

Marshall B. Kapp

Florida State University - College of Law and College of Medicine

Date Written: May 22, 2015

Abstract

Adequate cognitive and emotional capacity is essential to autonomous decision making by adult medical patients. Society often attaches legal consequences to decisional capacity evaluations. Even when the legal system is not formally involved in the competency evaluation of a particular individual, clinical practice and ethical conduct occur within and are informed by legal parameters. Using relevant statutory, court rule, and judicial opinion examples from a representative jurisdiction (Florida) within the United States, this article argues that the law seldom provides much meaningful guidance to health care and human services providers to assist them regarding the content of capacity evaluation. The article concludes by asking how society ought to respond to the paucity of helpful guidance provided by the law in the decisional capacity evaluation context.

Suggested Citation

Kapp, Marshall, Evaluating Decision Making Capacity in Older Individuals: Does the Law Give a Clue? (May 22, 2015). 4 Laws -- MDPI Open Access 164 (2015), FSU College of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 753, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2609382

Marshall Kapp (Contact Author)

Florida State University - College of Law and College of Medicine ( email )

625 Eagle View Circle
Tallahassee, FL 32311
United States
618-534-1022 (Phone)

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