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© 2020 The right of autonomous patients to make decisions about their care is core to medical practice. However, we are frequently faced with situations where a patient is unable to make those decisions because of their medical status, mental health or intellectual ability. Here we consider the legal framework for the treatment of those who lack the capacity to decide for themselves, and some of the factors that influence how such decisions are made.

Original publication




Journal article


Medicine (United Kingdom)

Publication Date





680 - 682