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2000

Human Rights Law

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

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Competency And Common Law: Why And How Decision-Making Capacity Criteria Should Be Drawn From The Capacity-Determination Process, Charles H. Baron Jan 2000

Competency And Common Law: Why And How Decision-Making Capacity Criteria Should Be Drawn From The Capacity-Determination Process, Charles H. Baron

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Determining competence to request physician-assisted suicide should be no more difficult than determining competence to refuse life-prolonging treatment. In both cases, criteria and procedures should be developed out of the process of actually making capacity determinations; they should not be promulgated a priori. Because patient demeanor plays a critical role in capacity determinations, it should be made part of the record of such determinations through greater use of video- and audiotapes.