, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 443-451,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 11 Jun 2009

Exploring the similarities and differences between medical assessments of competence and criminal responsibility


The medical assessments of criminal responsibility and competence to consent to treatment are performed, developed and debated in distinct domains. In this paper I try to connect these domains by exploring the similarities and differences between both assessments. In my view, in both assessments a decision-making process is evaluated in relation to the possible influence of a mental disorder on this process. I will argue that, in spite of the relevance of the differences, both practices could benefit from the recognition of this similarity. For cooperative research could be developed directed at elucidating exactly how various mental disturbances can affect decision-making processes.