Tag Archives: Capacity

Capacity: What do we need know about patients before we can do what they tell us to do? Withdrawal/Withholding of Care

A person may lack capacity to decide certain things and have capacity to do others. A person may be lack the capacity to decide sophisticated financial affairs, but have the capacity  to make medical decisions for themselves. The magnitude of the risk involved and the medical intervention contemplated is central to assessments of capacity. A decision to install a PICC line has a different level of risk than extubating (withdrawal of care) in a patient who clearly requires assistance in breathing. So, we can accept a  consent to a PICC line but not  necessarily to extubate. Levels of capacity vary…