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עמוד בית
Fri, 19.07.24

Perspective

IMAJ | volume 16

Journal 3, Mars 2014
pages: 142-146

Testamentary Capacity of the Schizophrenic Patient

    Summary

    Testamentary capacity refers to an individual's capability to write his or her own will. Psychiatrists are required occasionally to give expert opinions regarding the testamentary capacity of individuals with a medical history or suspected diagnosis of a mental illness. This may stem from the patient/lawyer/family initiative to explore the current capacity to testate in anticipation of a possible challenge, or may be sought when testamentary capacity of a deceased has been challenged. In this article we examine the medico-legal construct of testamentary capacity of the schizophrenic patient, and discuss the various clinical situations specific to schizophrenic patients, highlighting their impact on the medical opinion regarding testamentary capacity through examining the rulings of the Israeli Supreme Court in a specific case where the testamentary capacity of a mentally ill individual who was challenged postmortem, and provide a workable framework for the physician to evaluate the capacity of a schizophrenia patient to write a will.

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