One of the most sensitive issues in public health is discussing strategies for dealing with mentally incapacitated individuals. Having impaired cognitive connections, such patients are rendered incapacitated. As a consequence, they cannot make independent, thoughtful decisions. In the clinical setting, this is of critical importance. This is since prescribing medications and following prescriptions requires full responsibility. In this regard, the health care system has traditionally used the authority of close relatives.
In the context of a patient’s mental incapacity, family members are responsible for making critical decisions, including deciding not to subject the individual to treatment. One of the critical factors in this choice is a precaution since not all citizens are inclined to trust health care systems, especially in settings where “…patients were often abused and neglected…” (Edwards, 2015). Thus, the natural desire to protect and caution a relative against potential safety hazards is one sufficient reason to refuse treatment.
Lack of awareness of the disease may also be sufficient criteria for taking responsibility in refusing clinical treatment. Typically, a patient will have medical records in a unique medical history. However, in cases where the patient has not previously sought hospital care or due to other circumstances, history may not be collected. In such a case, the clinic may not be aware that the mentally ill patient has a specific diagnosis. In turn, the patient’s relatives may also be unaware of the presence of related problems.
Such a situation operates with a crisis of trust and awareness. This is since neither party may be aware of the seriousness of the situation. In this case, it is natural to expect family members to want to take the individual home without knowing about their problems. As a result, because of general ignorance of the whole picture of the patient’s condition — little efficiency in the health care system — the family should be allowed to take responsibility for the patient.
Meanwhile, the pressure exerted by medical staff is also a key factor. Modern clinics are trying to increase client orientation and loyalty. Nevertheless, it is not uncommon for patients to be overly stubborn or brash. Although unethical, in this case, one can expect the doctor to start applying psychological pressure. In an attempt to improve treatment, the physician only makes things worse. As has been shown, “any involuntary treatment is a violation of a person’s civil rights” (Edwards, 2015). As a consequence, such pressure is illegal. An excellent mechanism for stopping such threats is to take complete control of one’s relative’s treatment. Consequently, because of the pressure exerted, loved ones can take responsibility for the mentally ill person.
However, it is essential to emphasize that there are alternative viewpoints. Many people may believe that physicians are the most valuable link in the social system that keeps the nation healthy. Consequently, it is the task of physicians to treat individuals fully and unconditionally. This is true even in cases that require overstepping formal laws. In an attempt to improve the world, the physician must sacrifice rules. This strategy has been shown to have advantages because it reduces the state’s economic costs (Edwards, 2015). In reality, no area of life should violate a person’s constitutional rights. Mentally incompetent individuals have relatives who have priority rights in critical situations. Thus, the desire to cure a patient should not override an individual’s inalienable right to choose his or her destiny.
Edwards, H. S. (2015). Should mentally ill people be forced into treatment? Time. Web.