Should the `irrational' refusal to consent to ECT of a depressed patient who knows he is thought to be ill, knows that his doctor believes ECT will help him and knows that he is being asked to decide, be respected or overridden? The author of the first paper, an American bioethicist argues that the refusal should be overridden in the interests of fostering the autonomy of the patient by overcoming the impediment to that autonomy which major depression represents. A philosopher and a psychiatrist respond and an editorial discusses the issues.
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