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ERIC Number: EJ725658
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Aug-1
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 22
ISSN: ISSN-0360-7283
The Capacity of a Mentally Challenged Person to Consent to Abortion and Sterilization
Pollack, Daniel
Health & Social Work, v30 n3 p253 Aug 2005
Federal law (Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, P.L. 101-336) and state law concerning the capacity to consent demonstrate the many standards used to determine the severity of retardation and whether a mentally challenged person has the capacity to consent. This area of social policy is fascinating because it adds another layer of debate to topics that are not without their own intrinsic legal and public policy controversy (Feldman, 1994; Gilson, Bricourt, & Baskind, 1998; Goldstein, 1999; Lemieux, 2001; Llewellyn, 1995; Mackelprang & Salsgiver, 1996). Using legal materials, the author explores how the issue of consent by a mentally challenged person is considered in deciding issues concerning abortion and sterilization and potential social work roles in these situations. Understanding the concepts associated with obtaining informed consent from a mentally challenged client is crucial for social workers placed in the role of client advocate. Like law, social work is fundamentally a discipline based on moral and ethical underpinnings. Thus, social workers have been at the forefront of bioethical decision making (Reamer, 1985).
National Association of Social Workers (NASW), 750 First Street, NE, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-227-3590 (Toll Free); e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Americans with Disabilities Act 1990