Who should decide: a patient who has been suicidal or her legal guardian?


The team recommended a feeding tube. At first Sasha demurred, pointing to Liz’s refusal. But the psychiatrist clarified that Liz did not have decision-making capacity to refuse the procedure, so we relied upon Sasha. Sasha seemed to understand, and said she didn’t want Liz to starve. She asked what the procedure would entail, and what future steps in Liz’s care would involve. We discussed eventual transfer to a nursing home, and said we doubted Liz would ever care for herself again.

Then the conversation took an unexpected turn. 

Read my whole article at Scientific American guest blogs.

Posted on August 22, 2013 .