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Med J Aust. 2001 Nov 19;175(10):537-9.

Demoralisation: its impact on informed consent and medical care.

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  • 1Centre for Palliative Care, Department of Medicine (St Vincent's Hospital), University of Melbourne, VIC.


Demoralisation, a mental state characterised by hopelessness and meaninglessness, can be differentiated from depression in that demoralised patients can enjoy the present, their lack of hope being confined to the future. However, like severe depression, demoralisation can interfere with a person's capacity to give informed consent. Doctors and other health professionals are also subject to demoralisation, which influences medical care.

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