The New York Times spotlights the expertise of SeniorBridge Advisory Board Member, Jason Karlawish, MD, in addressing decision-making capacity and autonomy in Alzheimer's patients
The New York Times - October 30, 2010
- New research shows that one of the first signs of impending dementia is an inability to understand money and credit, contracts and agreements.
The issue is far from simple. Dr. Jason Karlawish, an associate professor of medicine and medical ethics at the University of Pennsylvania, says it is generally agreed that decisions by a competent adult should be respected.
But, he said, "What do we mean when we say someone has enough decision-making capacity to be 'competent'? The law, psychology and finance are all waking up to issue of decision-making capacity."
The issue promises to become even more complicated as researchers and doctors diagnose Alzheimer's earlier and earlier. If new brain scans and other methods show signs that a person is developing dementia, does that mean the patient should be watched, or that there should be limits on his or her abilities to make financial or legal decisions?
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