Unit 7

Persons without the capacity to consent


Criteria for competence to consent

a. Definition of incompetence
b. Criteria to determine competence to consent
c. Article 7 preface: special protection is to be given to persons who do not have the capacity to consent
d. Give examples of persons who cannot satisfy the criteria; distinguish different categories of persons not able to consent

Categories of persons without the capacity to consent

a. Different distinctions can be made
b. Examples of persons who cannot satisfy the criteria
c. Illustrative case of mental patients

Legal provisions concerning consent and capacity to consent

a. The role of domestic legal provisions
b. The role of international human rights law


a. Explain Article 7.a.
b. How to obtain consent in health care practice?
c. Special procedures in ethics to construct consent
i. Determination of appropriate substitute decision-makers
ii. Best interest criterion


The Handmaid’s Tale (Volker Schlöndorff, 1990)


Set in a Fascistic future America, The Handmaid’s Tale tells the story of Kate, a handmaid. In this America, the religious right has taken over and gone hog-wild. Kate is a criminal, guilty of the crime of trying to escape from the US, and is sentenced to become a Handmaid. The job of a Handmaid is to bear the children of the man to whom she is assigned. After ruthless group training by Aunt Lydia in the proper way to behave, Kate is assigned as Handmaid to the Commander. Kate is attracted to Nick, the Commander’s chauffeur. At the same time, a resistance movement begins to challenge the regime.

Ethical issues:

Surrogate motherhood, Sexual slavery, Consent