Public Health Quiz #16: Decision Making Capacity

1. A 72-year-old male with a history of Alzheimer's disease presents to the emergency department with his daughter due to a hip fracture from a recent fall. The patient is alert but appears confused about the current date and his location. He expresses a desire to forgo surgery despite understanding the potential consequences of non-treatment. Which of the following is the most appropriate next step in assessing his decision-making capacity? 

Question 1 of 5

2. A 45-year-old woman with no significant past medical history is diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer. She understands the situation and the risks and benefits of chemotherapy but believes that her faith alone will cure her cancer without any medical treatment. She refuses chemotherapy. Which of the following aspects of decision-making capacity is most likely being challenged in this scenario? 

Question 2 of 5

3. A 30-year-old man with schizophrenia is brought to the clinic by his family for a routine check-up. He has been stable on his medication for the past year. During the visit, he expresses a desire to discontinue his antipsychotic medication because he believes it is poisoning him, despite having no evidence to support this claim. Which component of decision-making capacity is primarily impaired in this patient? 

Question 3 of 5

4. A 25-year-old woman is brought to the emergency department after a severe car accident. She has multiple fractures and requires surgery. Upon awakening, she is in significant pain but oriented to person, place, and time. She immediately requests to see her medical records and asks detailed questions about her treatment options, including the risks and benefits of surgery. Which statement best represents her decision-making capacity? 

Question 4 of 5

5. A 65-year-old man with advanced dementia is admitted to the hospital with pneumonia. He is accompanied by his son, who is his legal healthcare proxy. The patient is confused, unable to understand his diagnosis, and responds incoherently when asked about his preferences for treatment. The son requests to begin aggressive antibiotic therapy. Which of the following best supports the son’s role in making treatment decisions on behalf of his father? 

Question 5 of 5


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