Toward a model of the legal doctrine of informed consent

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry

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Document Type



Civil Rights; Commitment of Mentally Ill; Decision Making; *Disclosure; Humans; *Informed Consent; Jurisprudence; Mental Disorders; *Models, Theoretical; Psychiatry; Risk Assessment; United States; ASPECTS


Behavioral Disciplines and Activities | Bioethics and Medical Ethics | Health Services Research | Law | Medical Jurisprudence | Mental and Social Health | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology


The authors draw together the disparate scholarly and judicial commentaries on consent to medical treatment to develop a model of the components in the decision-making process regarding consent to or refusal of psychiatric treatment. The components consist of the precondition of voluntariness, the provision of information, the patient's competency and understanding, and, finally, consent or refusal. They offer two models of valid consent: the objective model, which focuses on the congruence or lack of it between the patient and a "reasonable" person, and the subjective model, which focuses entirely on the patient's actual understanding.

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Citation: Am J Psychiatry. 1977 Mar;134(3):285-9.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

The American journal of psychiatry

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Link to Article in PubMed

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