Competence Assessment

  • Lienhard Maeck
  • Gabriela Stoppe
Part of the International Library of Ethics, Law, and the New Medicine book series (LIME, volume 45)


In the following chapter, ethical aspects of competence assessment will be discussed. After defining terms and explaining the categorical and functional approach to assess competence, we present four important key areas of capacity (informed consent, advance directives, testamentary competence, and driving competence) and the related problems for their assessment. The controversially discussed field of involuntary treatment and hospitalisation will be covered under special consideration of important ethical principles with regard to a given state of competence. The next subchapter will describe physical as well as mental clinical conditions which might interfere with competence. The problem of undue influence is devoted to a separate section, as any presence of this construct should be taken into consideration when judging about a persons’ competence in distinct areas. A brief description of the most important structured tools to assess competence will complete the chapter before summarising important key points.


Mild Cognitive Impairment Advance Directive Undue Influence Competence Assessment Involuntary Treatment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Aid to Capacity Evaluation


Alzheimer’s Disease


Behavioural and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia


Hopkins Competency Assessment Test


MacArthur Competence Assessment Tool for Treatment


MacArthur Competence Assessment Tool for Clinical Research


Mild Cognitive Impairment


Mini Mental State Examination


Parkinson’s Disease


Structured Interview for Competency Incompetency Assessment Testing and Ranking Inventory


University of California, San Diego Brief Assessment of Capacity to Consent


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universitäre Psychiatrische KlinikenBaselSwitzerland

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