Year: 1986 Source: Clinics in Geriatric Medicine, v.2, no.3, (August 1986), p.511-520 SIEC No: 19870146

The decision regarding refusal of treatment ultimately rests with competent adult patients. When the elderly patient is an inadequate or incompetent decision maker, in order to protect the interests of the patient, the physician should have some knowledge of the way decisions are made. This is particularly important when a decision to forego life-sustaining treatment is being deliberated. The physician needs clarity regarding the decision-making process involving the incompetent patient.