The Consumer Protection Model of Decisional Capacity Evaluation

Southwest Philosophy Review 29 (1):241-248 (2013)
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Decisional capacity evaluations (DCEs) occur in clinical settings where it is unclear whether a consumer of medical services has the capacity to make an informed decision about the relevant medical options. DCEs are localized interventions, not the global loss of competence, that assign a surrogate decision maker to make the decision on behalf of the medical consumer. We maintain that one important necessary condition for a DCE to be morally justified, in cases of medical necessity, is that the health care consumer under evaluation is incapable of expressing a preference for a certain outcome.
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