Read the definition of impaired capacity in section 4(2) and then carefully consider the following scenario:

Read the definition ofimpaired capacity in section 4(2) and then carefully consider the following scenario:

Fred is suffering from dementia and has only infrequent lucid moments. After falling in the street Fred is admitted to hospital where it is discovered that he has well advanced gangrene in his lower left leg. The medical opinion is that an immediate amputation below the knee is called for to save his life. When given this diagnosis Fred suddenly becomes agitated; he flatly refuses his consent, saying: ‘You can’t cut off my leg, I must go into the next life whole!’

On these facts do you think that Fred’s decision-making capacity is impaired according to the definition given in section 4(2) and 4(3)?

The answer:

Yes. This is because dementia is a decline in mental ability (memory loss) that is enough to interfere with daily life hence Fred justifies to be in class of impaired decision-making capacity (http://www.alz.org/what-is-dementia.asp). According to his condition, he can neither retain information nor use such information in making decision when he is normal (s4 (2)).

 

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