Advanced directives are legal documents that allow an individual to specify in advance his or her preferences for health care treatment and interventions should he or she be unable to make or communicate informed health care decisions at some point in the future. Advanced directives that contain preferences to guide mental health treatment, in particular, during periods of impaired decision making in the future are commonly referred to as advanced psychiatric directives. This topic is highly relevant to a volume of work on abnormal psychology, given that mental health disorders, by nature, involve the faculties employed in judgment and decision making. The following sections review (a) a brief history of the legal foundation for advanced psychiatric directives; (b) the requirements for creating, executing, revoking, and ...

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