Pain, competency and consent

HEC Forum 5 (3):205-211 (1993)
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The paper is written in response to those who fail to recognize the relation between a patient's mental competency and her state of pain. Some clinicians claim that a proper diagnosis can only be made in the absent of analgesia. Rather, the patient's state of pain directly affects her mental competency and thus her ability to give valid consent. Clinicians should rethink their approach to diagnosis when the patient is in pain.
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