Geriatric Depression: Do Older Persons Have a Right to Be Unhappy?
Elder Law Review, Vol. 1, 2002
6 Pages Posted: 28 May 2002
Clinical depression is a serious medical problem in the older population. Although it is considered to be highly treatable, physicians and other health care professionals often are criticized for doing an inadequate job of recognizing, and then treating, depression in older persons. They are routinely exhorted to improve their performance by being more aggressive in recognizing and intervening with this clinical condition. Yet, the mandate to provide aggressive treatment of depression is not always uncontroversial. Rather, medical intervention for older patients may raise a number of challenging legal, as well as ethical, questions. Using a case example, this article outlines some of the salient legal issues implicated by an older person's right to be and act depressed and the exceptions to that right.
JEL Classification: K32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation