Study of medical decisions in adult guardianship

Akira Takahashi, Koh Iwasaki, Nobuo Yaegashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims: The present study investigated the current situation of medical decision-making for patients who cannot express their intentions, especially elderly patients. Methods: We sent a questionnaire to 63 medical institutions and 11 individual caseworkers in Miyagi prefecture. The questionnaire was designed to investigate: 1) the use of adult guardianship; 2) the process of obtaining medical consent; and 3) possible systems which would benefit patients. Results: Forty-four institutions (69.8%) and 11 (100%) caseworkers answered our questionnaires. Five institutions and 8 caseworkers had been required to make medical consent for their patients by clinicians. Four patients could not receive medical treatment because clinicians could not identify responsible persons for medical consent. Eighteen institutions and 8 caseworkers suggested an adult guardian would be a possible person to give medical consent if satisfying legal conditions. Conclusions: The present study indicated the urgency of an appropriate system to obtain medical consent when patients cannot express their intentions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)617-621
Number of pages5
JournalJapanese Journal of Geriatrics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Adult guardian
  • Adult guardianship
  • Elderly person
  • Medical decision-making
  • Nursing care insurance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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