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Report No. 196

(2) 'Informed decision'

An 'informed decision' is a decision taken by a competent patient, i.e. an adult who has capacity to take a decision as to his or her medical treatment after understanding the gravity or otherwise of his disease, the availability or otherwise of alternative medicine or technology to cure his disease, the consequences of those forms of treatment and the consequences of remaining untreated. This definition is based on he decisions of the English Courts of Butler Sloss P, Thorpe J and others, to which we have made reference earlier.

(In the case of minors, the doctor's decision as to 'best interests' can override the decision of the guardian.)



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