Friday, September 17, 2004

Dementia Voting Project

As a follow-up to this week's news about dementia and the voter, I note that the senior author of the JAMA article has a funded project to examine this issue, called the Dementia Voting Project [project website].

According to the site's homepage:

"Welcome to the Dementia Voting Project. The goal of this project is to identify and address the ethical, legal, political, medical and practical issues regarding the rights and abilities of individuals with dementia and other causes of cognitive impairment to vote."

According to the site, some of the questions they are examining include:

How should we understand the construct of "the capacity to vote"?
How can a person assess another person's "capacity to vote?"
What kind of assistance in voting is appropriate to provide to a person with cognitive impairment who retains sufficient residual capacity to cast a meaningful vote?
What role should long-term care staff have in providing voting assistance to residents?
What are the political consequences of voting by persons who lack the capacity to vote?

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