Assessing Decision-Making Capacity in the Setting of Palliative Care Research

Russell K. Portenoy and Eduardo Bruera

in Issues in Palliative Care Research

Published in print September 2003 | ISBN: 9780195130652
Published online November 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199999842 | DOI:
Assessing Decision-Making Capacity in the Setting of Palliative Care Research

Show Summary Details


This chapter begins with a discussion of why concerns about informed consent are warranted in palliative medicine research and why procedures for informed consent should be considered a key methodological challenge. Next, it discusses procedures for assessing decision-making capacity, followed by an outline of provisions that can be made for patients who lack capacity. The chapter concludes with recommendations to guide the judicious use of these procedures in the design of palliative care studies. The goals of good end-of-life care are to relieve suffering and to improve quality of life. However, access to palliative care is poor, and standards to guide palliative care have not been clearly established. At least in part, these deficiencies exist because of a lack of solid evidence on which to base clinical decisions. Therefore, there is an urgent need for a standard of care and increased access to quality care.

Keywords: informed consent; palliative medicine; quality care; end-of-life care; decision-making capacity

Chapter.  7210 words. 

Subjects: Palliative Medicine

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.