Advance Directives in Psychiatry

Part of the International Library of Ethics, Law, and the New Medicine book series (LIME, volume 54)


Advance directives are regulated by legislation in many countries. This chapter discusses ethical challenges posed by advance directives in patients with mental disorders. Besides information on treatment preferences for specific clinical situations, the patient’s mental capacity at the time of writing a directive is an essential factor. Challenges associated with different concepts of competence are presented, as well as empirical data concerning clinical assessment of mental capacity in psychiatry. Also discussed are the “Decisional Competence Assessment Tool for Psychiatric Advance Directives” and empirical studies from the US on how advance directives in patients with mental disorders are rated by attending psychiatrists. Ethical conclusions are drawn for the handling of advance directives in psychiatric practice.


Schizophrenic Patient Advance Directive Psychiatric Practice Medical Situation Psychiatric Advance Directive 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Medical Ethics and History of MedicineRuhr-Universität BochumBochumGermany

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