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Capacity and decision making
  1. Ben Gray
  1. Department of Primary Care and General Practice, University of Otago Wellington, Wellington, 6021, New Zealand
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ben Gray, Department of Primary Care and General Practice, University of Otago Wellington, Wellington, 6021, New Zealand; ben.gray{at}otago.ac.nz

Abstract

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

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Footnotes

  • Contributors BG is the sole contributor to this paper.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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