The Inmates Now Are Running The Asylum

Check this out.  What you will see are the stories of several patients who have psychiatric advanced directives (PAD’s). Yup, they are what they sound like. Patients with known psychiatric problems get to specify things like what hospital they are comfortable being sent to, what drugs work for them and what don’t, whether they consent to being committed, etc. The good news is that they get to specify all of this when they are not in crisis, so when the poo hits the fan everything is in place.

As usual, there are some “Yeah, buts…”. Like the realization that such directives are likely to be overridden if, in the judgment of the psychiatric staff, they are not appropriate for a particular situation.  And the question of what impact these directives will have on medical malpractice cases is still an open one.

And then there is the more general question as to whether patients will simply state what they think feels good to them in the short run, as opposed to having any understanding of what treatment will work best for them in the long run.

Bottom Line. Interesting notion. Spend a little time pondering whether or not you think PAD’s are a good idea.

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