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How many mentally ill people are known to have been asked or deemed capable of making their own decisions? Not a lot, everyone can agree with that. There are many cases, in the case of adults even that individuals who are suffering from a mental illness that leaves them neurologically unstable or disturbed, that they are not allowed to make their own decisions. Even though the extent of the illness may vary, there are numerous times when they are rendered incompetent and unfit to decide what is correct or permissible.
The article "Informed Consent In Adult Psychiatry" has positive points like the realization of mental illness as a problem that needs a solution to it. The negatives in the first article are about the lack of practicality in the implementation of procedures to test mental illness for a person for informed consent. Overall this is a positive source. There are strict ethical views regarding allowance of mentally ill people a chance to give informed consent. It is a problem, according to Amer, who feels there need to be intervention and voluntarism to deal with the issue (Amer, 228). These people cannot understand the medical intervention, the procedures required and the medical complications. He gives the conditions related to some the ethics of allowing them. However, he believed that under some conditions and medical intervention, these people can be allowed to give consent (Amer, 228).
The next article "Can people with mental illness consent to research" has positives in ascertaining that mentally ill people can be given treatment and can be allowed to give consent. The second article carries negative of equating mentally ill people with normal people that they too cannot understand consent forms like special people. The author also raises the ethics related to allowing them. He says that mentally ill people have the right to give consent. However, as they are sometimes unable to understand the problem, their decision can be null and void (Charles). There is a lack of depth given to the matter concerning the extent of mental illness where there are cases when the disease might not be as proliferated, and the individual might be able to give informed consent (Charles). This is a positive source.
The third article called "Mental Illness And Informed Consent: Seeking An Empirically Derived Understanding Of Voluntarism: Editorial Review" has a good side that it shows the importance of informed consent. The third article has a flaw in being neutral to the position of mentally ill people, rendering them able to give informed consent, which then pulls out the need for research altogether. In a research conducted by the authors, there are views that that now an increased number of people are giving their consent which is being taken and there is a rising interest in the issue as people understand how crucial it is to give the consent for the right treatment (Roberts, 546). This is a neutral source.
The fourth one "Incapacity to Give Informed Consent Owing to Mental Disorder" shows how mentally ill people can be worked on to give their consent, and they can be helped. The fourth article has the negative of giving an indecisive stance, where it states that using mentally ill people for research is pointless. In cases of schizophrenia, bipolar disease, depression and several other mental disorders there are degrees of mental illness and the person might be lucid enough to make the right decision at times, hence the research must point out to that aspect as well. (Van and Kruger). This is a negative source.
The last article cited, "Inclusion Of Patients With Severe Mental Illness In Clinical Trials: Issues And Recommendations Surrounding Informed Consent" is positive in pointing out the ethical domains in allowing these people to give consent. The final source is negative in not taking a position on the topic rather it just states solutions, which have not been practiced. It does support the ethical right of mentally ill persons to give consent, yet becomes unsure of its very stance and does not give any solid conclusion. The authors also pointed out that allowing mentally ill people to give consent should be given a legal status rather than just a medical thing however, there are issues related to doing this because it would generalize conditions and neurological problems are hard to decipher all at once (Welie and Berghmans, 67). Some researchers consider mentally ill people incapable to give informed consent at all costs. They are not able to understand and hence if they make a decision that goes otherwise, it could raise serious questions. In one case, the author raises the question of the legality of the issue and whether any legal terms could apply to allowing or disallowing mentally ill people to give informed consent. (Welie and Berghmans, 68). Giving consent is something that requires much thought and introspection into. However, mentally ill persons are thought as individuals who are unable to comprehend, communicate and understand what a certain illness is about. Hence there come to these laws and conditions under which others think they should be allowed to give informed consent. So, should there be specific laws regarding the issue or should there be a due law that determines they can or cannot give consent.
Conclusively, mentally ill people have to face contradiction when it comes to giving their informed consent. There are serious ethical issues related to this matter as well as the problems these people face at the hands of being unable to understand medical problems and give a wise, informed consent. Therefore when it comes to giving informed consent, there need to be legal and medical precautions taken before a mentally ill person can give informed consent.
Amer, Ahmed Bait. "Informed Consent in Adult Psychiatry." Oman Medical Journal 28.4 (2013): 228-231. Academic Search Complete. Web. 11 June 2015.
Charles Lidz, Ph.D., ‘Can people with mental illness consent to research?’, CMHSR of University of Massachusetts Medical school, Jan.2006, Vol.3, Issue 1
Roberts, L. W. "Mental Illness And Informed Consent: Seeking An Empirically Derived Understanding Of Voluntarism: Editorial Review." Current Opinion InPsychiatry16.(2003): 543-546. British Library Document Supply Centre InsideSerials &Conference Proceedings. Web. 11 June 2015.
Van Staden, C. W., and C. Krüger. "Incapacity to Give Informed Consent Owing to Mental Disorder." Journal of Medical Ethics 2003: 41. JSTOR Journals. Web. 11 June 2015.
Welie, Sander P. K., and Ron L. P. Berghmans. "Inclusion Of Patients With Severe Mental Illness In Clinical Trials: Issues And Recommendations Surrounding Informed Consent." CNS Drugs 20.1 (2006): 67-83. Academic Search Complete. Web. 11 June 2015.