Document Detail


Psychotic denial of pregnancy: legal and treatment considerations for clinicians.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21389163     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
The authors examine the legal questions raised by the involuntary medical and psychiatric treatment of a patient with psychotic denial of pregnancy. A case is presented, and psychotic denial of pregnancy is defined. Legal cases are reviewed that set precedent for state intervention on behalf of either the pregnant mother or the fetus when the mother refuses care. Included are specific cases that have a bearing on the rights of pregnant women with co-morbid mental illness. A distinction is made between cases in which the mother is competent versus incompetent to make treatment decisions, and particular attention is paid to California law. The authors conducted systematic Westlaw and LexisNexis searches of relevant case law and legal precedent. Laws that address the rights of pregnant women are complex, and courts have allowed medical interventions against objection in cases of both competent and incompetent mothers. No clear legal precedent was found to guide decision-making in the specific case of a woman with psychotic denial of pregnancy. The principles of substituted judgment and best interest may help guide clinicians in making decisions about the treatment of pregnant patients in the absence of clear legal precedent.
Authors:
Melissa Nau; H Eric Bender; Judith Street
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law     Volume:  39     ISSN:  1943-3662     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Am. Acad. Psychiatry Law     Publication Date:  2011  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-03-10     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9708963     Medline TA:  J Am Acad Psychiatry Law     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  31-9     Citation Subset:  IM    
Affiliation:
Division of Psychiatry and the Law, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, University of California, Davis Medical Center, 2230 Stockton Blvd, 2nd Floor, Sacramento, CA 95817. henry.bender@ucdmc.ucdavis.edu.
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