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The Purpose of Psychological Testing is to create definitive diagnosis of psychiatric conditions and prescriptive protocols (recommendations) to help clients identify strengths and weaknesses (self-awareness), and become successful. The testing recommendations become a Road Map for treatment. Therapists, treatment programs, and academic institutions use recommendations to create an efficient and effective path towards the best possible outcome.
Competency issues can arise at several different junctures along the life cycle of a case. While one’s competency to stand trial is perhaps the most familiar question raised, there are other types of competency disputes that may warrant expert competency assessment by a forensic psychiatrist. These functions include competency to represent one’s self, competency to plea, competency to be sentenced, and competency to be executed.
At any time during a criminal proceeding that the defendant is thought to be unable to show a rational and factual understanding of his charges or the legal process, or unable to communicate with counsel, he or she may be tested for competence to stand trial.
When patients lack the competence to make a decision about treatment, substitute decision makers must be sought. Hence, the determination of whether patients are competent is critical in striking a proper balance between respecting the autonomy of patients who are capable of making informed decisions and protecting those with cognitive impairment.
The U.S. Supreme Court has promulgated that individuals accused of crimes possess particular rights and that individuals must be informed of these rights at the time of arrest. Moreover, the court requires that an individual be capable of reasonably understanding & legally appreciating these rights before interrogation. Forensic psychologists conduct evaluations of accused individuals in order to ascertain the likelihood that they possess adequate intellectual and psychological capabilities.
All adults are presumed to have sufficient capacity to decide on their own medical treatment, unless there's significant evidence to suggest otherwise.
"Capacity" means the ability to use and understand information to make a decision, and communicate any decision made. A person lacks capacity if their mind is impaired or disturbed in some way, and this means the person is unable to make a decision at that time.
A "guardian" is someone who is chosen or appointed to make legal decisions for another person who is unable to make those decisions on their own. Guardianship is often over a child or an individual who has become incapacitated through age or disability.
A guardianship is a crucial legal tool that allows one person or entity to make decisions for another (the ward). Courts are tasked with establishing guardianships, and they typically appoint guardians in instances of incapacity or disability. Suppose, for example, that a person is put into a coma from a car accident.
Conservatorship is a legal concept in the United States of America. A guardian or a protector is appointed by a judge to manage the financial affairs and/or daily life of another due to physical or mental limitations, or old age.