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Abstract

Individuals must be fully informed and comprehend the consequences of refusing medical treatment before doing so. At the time of publication, New York courts used a subjective intent test to determine a patient's intentions before he or she became medically incompetent. The author argues that this test is ineffective where the patient did not have ability or forethought to make his or her intentions known. In such a case, the author contends that a surrogate should be appointed and given the discretion to consider what the surrogate believes would be the intent of the incapacitated person as well as the objective factors of informed consent.

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