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Cynthia M. A. Geppert, MD, DPS

Cynthia M. A. Geppert, MD, DPS

Dr. Geppert is Professor of Psychiatry and Director of Ethics Education, University of New Mexico School of Medicine; and Chief, Consultation Psychiatry and Ethics, New Mexico VA Health Care System, Albuquerque, NM.

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There is a growing trend for patients to obtain and use tDCS devices without the interposition of a psychiatrist filling the traditional medical-legal role of learned intermediary. The authors explore various issues.


When, if ever, is it ethical to administer a medication to a patient—even an incapacitated one—without his knowledge? Read the case, and weigh in.

In psychiatry, hot debates abound if you just look around—and if this Special Report collection is any indication, the result is a balance of opinion and civility made richer by virtue of opposing views.

© Kirill Savenko/shutterstock.com

An overview of the DSM diagnostic system, the medicalization of normal variants of human behavior, and physician-assisted suicide.

©Kirill Savenko/shutterstock.com

This special report on controversies in psychiatry examines the pros and cons of assisted outpatient treatment and also antidepressant use in pregnancy.

How would you handle information about a patient obtained from an Internet search? Take the quiz.

“Googling” a patient does not seem much different from the old-fashioned obtaining of collateral information, but the ramifications may be far more than you bargain for.

The authors parse myths and facts about decisional capacity, with the goal of preserving patients' dignity and autonomy and helping you mediate conflicts, meet bioethical challenges, and provide compassionate resolutions.


Does this patient have decision making capacity to refuse a blood transfusion that will likely save his life? You are the ethics consultant, and the decision is yours.

Ethics case quiz: A patient's inconsistent decisions regarding treatment are cause for concern. What to do?


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