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Applied Ethics in Mental Health CareAn Interdisciplinary Reader$
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Dominic A. Sisti, Arthur L. Caplan, and Hila Rimon-Greenspan

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780262019682

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262019682.001.0001

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End-Stage Anorexia: Criteria for Competence to Refuse Treatment

End-Stage Anorexia: Criteria for Competence to Refuse Treatment

(p.91) 7 End-Stage Anorexia: Criteria for Competence to Refuse Treatment
Applied Ethics in Mental Health Care

Margery Gans

Willam B. Gunn Jr.

The MIT Press

In this paper, the authors introduce a case in which the central question was the competence of a woman in the end stages of anorexia nervosa to refuse treatment when she knew that death was a likely outcome. Then, the authors identify the major issues relevant in this situation: the nature of anorexia nervosa, the notion of competence, and the complications inherent in determining competence to refuse life-saving treatment in a patient diagnosed with anorexia nervosa. Finally, the authors identify the criteria we used to determine competence in this patient and describe the process we used to assess her competence.

Keywords:   Anorexia, Autonomy, Competence, Capacity, Ethics, Futility, Psychiatry

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