Caring about risks are severely depressed patients competent to consent to research?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

101 Scopus citations

Abstract

Depressed patients are often asked to take part in clinical research studies that carry risk. These patients are generally assumed to be mentally competent to consent to research, since depression often leaves a patient's cognitive abilities intact. In this article, it is argued that many severely depressed patients may not be competent to consent because they cannot be considered accountable for their decisions. The article presents 2 arguments: first, that it is unclear whether the decisions of some severely depressed patients are authentically theirs, and second, that some severely depressed patients may not have the appropriate minimal degree of concern for their own well-being. It is argued that assessments of competence must take account of emotional factors, and that, if severely depressed patients are incompetent to consent, research studies involving a poor risk-benefit ratio will be much more difficult to justify.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-116
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of General Psychiatry
Volume54
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Caring about risks are severely depressed patients competent to consent to research?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this