Define: Doctrine Of Substituted Judgement

Doctrine Of Substituted Judgement
Doctrine Of Substituted Judgement
Quick Summary of Doctrine Of Substituted Judgement

The principle of substituted judgement enables an individual to make decisions on behalf of another person who is incapable of making their own decisions. The decision-maker attempts to determine what the person would have chosen if they were able to make their own decisions. This principle is typically applied to individuals who were previously capable of making decisions but are no longer able to do so. The decision-maker must demonstrate that their decision is both accurate and persuasive. This principle is commonly utilised in cases involving health and medical neglect.

Full Definition Of Doctrine Of Substituted Judgement

The principle of substituted judgement enables a surrogate decision-maker to make choices for an incompetent patient. The decision-maker strives to determine, as accurately as possible, what decision the patient would have made if they were competent. This principle is applied when the patient was previously capable of making decisions but can no longer do so. For instance, if a patient is in a coma and incapable of deciding on their medical treatment, the doctrine of substituted judgement permits a family member or legal guardian to make decisions on their behalf, based on the patient’s presumed desires. The standard of proof for this principle is clear and convincing evidence, meaning that the decision-maker must provide strong evidence to support their decision. Ultimately, the doctrine of substituted judgement ensures that the patient’s wishes are honoured even in their inability to communicate them.

Doctrine Of Substituted Judgement FAQ'S

The Doctrine of Substituted Judgment is a legal principle that allows a court or decision-maker to make decisions on behalf of an individual who is unable to make decisions for themselves, based on what the individual would have decided if they were capable.

The Doctrine of Substituted Judgment is typically applied in cases where an individual is incapacitated or lacks the mental capacity to make decisions, such as in cases of severe mental illness, dementia, or coma.

Under this doctrine, a court or decision-maker, such as a guardian or conservator, is appointed to make decisions on behalf of the incapacitated individual. The appointed person should act in the best interests of the individual and make decisions that align with their known wishes and values.

The court will consider various factors, such as the individual’s prior statements, beliefs, values, and any available evidence of their preferences. They may also consult with family members, friends, or healthcare professionals who are familiar with the individual’s wishes.

No, the appointed decision-maker should make decisions that align with the individual’s known wishes and values. Deviating from the individual’s preferences without a compelling reason would not be in accordance with the Doctrine of Substituted Judgment.

In some cases, the court may determine that it is not possible to ascertain the individual’s wishes or that following their wishes would not be in their best interests. In such situations, the court may deviate from the Doctrine of Substituted Judgment and make decisions based on what is deemed to be in the individual’s best interests.

Yes, the Doctrine of Substituted Judgment is commonly used in medical decision-making, especially in cases where an individual is unable to provide informed consent for medical treatment. The appointed decision-maker would make decisions based on what the individual would have chosen if they were capable.

Yes, the decisions made under the Doctrine of Substituted Judgment can be challenged in court if there are concerns about the appointed decision-maker’s actions or if there is evidence that the decisions do not align with the individual’s known wishes.

The Doctrine of Substituted Judgment is recognized in many jurisdictions, but the specific laws and procedures may vary. It is important to consult with a legal professional familiar with the laws of your jurisdiction to understand how the doctrine applies in your specific situation.

Yes, the Doctrine of Substituted Judgment can also be applied to financial decision-making, especially in cases where an individual is unable to manage their own finances due to incapacity. The appointed decision-maker would make financial decisions on behalf of the individual, considering their known wishes and best interests.

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This site contains general legal information but does not constitute professional legal advice for your particular situation. Persuing this glossary does not create an attorney-client or legal adviser relationship. If you have specific questions, please consult a qualified attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

This glossary post was last updated: 6th June 2024.

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