UTMB Center of Excellence for Professional Advancement and Research COEPAR

The UTMB Center of Excellence for Professional Advancement and Research (COEPAR) 1 D34HP49234‐01‐00 is funded by a federal grant from the Department of Health and Human Services, HRSA. COEPAR’s main objective is to pilot initiatives across the medical pathway, from premedical attraction to medical student education to junior faculty retention and advancement, that seek to determine best practices that will result in a representative healthcare workforce for Texas and therefore, provide better patient outcomes.



BHH Seminar Series: "Grief and Decision-Making Capacity"

Jun 6, 2024, 14:02 PM by COEPAR

The Department of Bioethics and Health Humanities and The Samuel G. Dunn Lectureship in the Medical Humanities 

Proudly Presents:

"Grief and Decision-Making Capacity"

by Dr. Xiang Yu
Clinical Ethicist
Fellow Alden March Bioethics Institute Albany Medical College 

Tuesday, June 18, 2024
9-10 AM
HEC 3.201

General consensus holds that providers should wait to assess the decision-making capacity of patients in the throes of grief. The justification for waiting is typically that such patients may lack sufficient capacity to make treatment decisions for themselves—at least for a short period of time—as a result of intense grief. However, the reason such patients may lack capacity remains contested. In this paper, we offer a novel explanation. We consider three accounts for how the patient's grief could undermine her capacity: the patient is unable to appreciate the relevant medical information; the patient has a mental disorder that leads her to make an irrational decision; the value underlying the patient’s decision is pathological. We show how each of these accounts is unsatisfactory and propose an alternative, which we call the Value-Fulfillment Account. On our proposed account, grief undermines capacity when a patient’s decision fails to fulfill her deeply held values. 

Contact:     Email: Kathryne Dunn     

For: The School of Public and Population Health     Phone: 409-772-1128