Qadgop the Mercotan
AHunter3, I don't disagree with you, but I would like your view on this sort of situation: A patient of my acquaintance is bipolar, rapidly cycling (4 or 5 full cycles a year), and completely psychotic during both the severe depression and severe mania (catatonia, hallucinations). When not on medication, these cycles are devastating to the family, especially the young children. The patient is unreliable as a parent during these extremes, yet breaks no laws. Spouse, family and friends are always on high alert to mitigate risk and damage to the children and to the patients, but things do slip thru. The patient agrees the behavior is a problem, but only wants medications during exacerbations. However, during the exacerbations, the patient then refuses medications. Clear and present danger is difficult to demonstrate to the courts, and they have declined to intervene.
What should the family do? What should society do?
I think if it were me, I'd have an attorney draft me two documents:
a) a Springing Power of Attorney designating someone as my "official take-over decision-making person" should I become incapable of making my own decisions. I would be very explicit about this authority expiring as soon as I was once again able to determine matters for myself, and also about restricting the area of authority to a select few areas, mostly medical/pharmaceutical.
b) a Health Care Proxy and/or Living Will, designating the same person and laying out in explicit details how I'd like to be treated medically (psychiatrically) and for what duration.
I think the combination of the two would be sufficient to "protect myself from myself" if that's what I wanted. The POA by itself might not do it because questions would be raised about whether or not I were sufficiently incapable of still managing my own affairs, but in conjunction with the HCP which indicated that were I to still be in my right mind I'd be taking pyschiatric pharmaceuticals until I was once again in my right mind, I think it would convey a pretty clear sense of what my (normative) wishes were.
See my next post on this same thread
See my previous post on this same thread
Original SDMB thread Is manic-depression a disease to be cured?
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