Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Capacity and decision making


Pickering et al’s paper argues that the capacity of the decision-maker is the sole consideration in whether a decision should stand, and that the risk of the decision should not be considered. This argument ignores the existence of the player who is of the view that a decision is not wise. This paper argues that patient autonomy is not the sole determinant of whether a person is able to make an unwise decision, particularly in healthcare where there are always others affected by the patient decision. Rather than asserting that patients have an unfettered autonomous choice on clinical decisions this paper argues that these decisions should be looked at through the lens of quality in health care that has proposed four parameters to be balanced; the patient experience, wise use of resources, the effect on public health and the clinician experience.

  • Capacity
  • Informed Consent
  • Quality of Health Care

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Linked Articles

  • Extended essay
    Neil John Pickering Giles Newton-Howes Simon Walker
  • Response
    Neil John Pickering Giles Newton-Howes Simon Walker