Courts have found psychiatric patients to have the qualified right to refuse treatment. Particularly problematic is whether newly admitted psychiatric patients can comprehend information and give informed constent. The authors examined the ability of voluntary and involuntary psychotic patients to understand information about antipsychotic medication, related this assessment to psychopathology, and evaluated factors involved in hypothetical acceptance or refusal of treatment. Although most patients stated they had understood informed consent material, objective ratings did not support this. Impaired understanding was significantly associated with thought disturbance but did not affect hypothetical acceptance or refusal of antipsychotics. Legal status was not a significant factor.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health