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Psychol Public Policy Law. 1998 Sep;4(3):746-87.

Advance directives for psychiatric care: a theoretical and practical overview for legal professionals.

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McInerney, Baker, Suite 4750, Wells Fargo Building, 999 Third Avenue, Seattle, Washington 98104, USA.


An advance directive for psychiatric care is a legally enforceable document that specifies the manner in which psychiatric treatment decisions are to be made in the event that a person later becomes incompetent to make informed health care decisions. Although the concept of psychiatric advance directives has gained considerable popularity in recent years, the groundswell of interest in these instruments largely precedes the development of a coherent body of governing law. Existing state statutes and case law provide significant legal authority for the use and enforcement of advance directives in psychiatric settings, but serious questions remain concerning the scope of their enforceability, particularly in the context of involuntary treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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