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J ECT. 2015 Sep;31(3):143-6. doi: 10.1097/YCT.0000000000000241.

Informed Consent for Electroconvulsive Therapy--Finding Balance.

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From the Duke University Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC.


Informed consent underpins all medical decisions, including the decision to undergo electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Written informed consent remains the standard before the initiation of ECT and requires the inclusion of several components to be considered valid. Prospective patients must be aware of risks and benefits of ECT as well as risks and benefits of alternate, and potentially less effective, interventions. Patients must also possess adequate decision-making capacity to make an informed choice about treatment. Consent for ECT may present unique issues, such as the interplay between potential cognitive adverse effects and informed consent. Options to address this concern include thorough explanation of this topic before the initiation of ECT, continued reassessment of consent during ECT, or some combination of approaches.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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