Geriatric Depression: Do Older Persons Have a Right to Be Unhappy?

Elder Law Review, Vol. 1, 2002

6 Pages Posted: 28 May 2002

See all articles by Marshall B. Kapp

Marshall B. Kapp

Florida State University - College of Law and College of Medicine

Abstract

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

Kapp, Marshall, Geriatric Depression: Do Older Persons Have a Right to Be Unhappy?. Elder Law Review, Vol. 1, 2002. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=310581 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.310581

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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