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Mental Capacity and Assisted Suicide

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To what extent can mental capacity be reliably assessed in patients seeking physician-assisted suicide?

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In a report published today, psychiatrist Dr Claudia Camden-Smith examines how mental capacity is assessed and highlights the complexities of doing so where the patient is terminally ill. She goes on to consider how Lord Falconer's Assisted Dying Bill measures up to these challenges, concluding that the absence of mental capacity provisions is a "serious structural weakness" in the bill. The report may be accessed here.

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