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9 - Consent for anesthesia for procedures with special societal implications: psychosurgery and electroconvulsive therapy

from 1 - Consent and refusal

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 March 2012

Gail A. Van Norman
Affiliation:
University of Washington
Stephen Jackson
Affiliation:
Good Samaritan Hospital, San Jose
Stanley H. Rosenbaum
Affiliation:
Yale University School of Medicine
Susan K. Palmer
Affiliation:
Oregon Anesthesiology Group
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Summary

This chapter focuses on the concept of patient consent for ansthesia for psychosurgery and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) using the case of a 20-year-old patient with severe psychiatric disorders. Psychosurgery has a controversial history, in which medical, moral, social, and political considerations intermingle. The main ethical issues connected to these interventions involve the scientific validity of the therapy and its evaluation, the validity of patient consent, and the possibility of conflict between the interests of the patient and those of society, particularly in the case of dangerous or violent individuals. Psychosurgery raises fundamental questions, such as those linked to the definition of person and free will, concepts of dignity, integrity, and the validity of true consent. Ultimately, decisions regarding psychosurgical interventions and ECT must be made on a case-by-case basis, taking into account patient suffering and disability, and balancing these considerations with patient autonomy.
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Chapter
Information
Clinical Ethics in Anesthesiology
A Case-Based Textbook
, pp. 55 - 60
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2010

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