Capacity assessment and intervention in 56-yr-old man with schizophrenia


  • Alan Schlechter MD

    Corresponding author
    1. Fellow, NYU Child Study Center, Visiting Associate Faculty, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY
    • Fellow, NYU Child Study Center Visiting Associate Faculty Mount Sinai School of Medicine New York, NY
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The importance of the doctor-patient relationship among patients with schizophrenia is especially evident within the context of medication adherence. The association between patients' positive perception of their psychiatrist and medication adherence has been established in several studies. This is the case of a 56-year-old man with schizophrenia and multiple medical problems who is refusing to take any medications. We discuss the risks and benefits of having a patient declared incompetent along with assessing the patient's capacity. The case highlights situations when a physician might question a patient's decisional capacity but conclude that the decision should be accepted so as to maintain rapport with the patient and continue treatment. Mt Sinai J Med 75:153–155, 2008. © 2008 Mount Sinai School of Medicine