Is lithium an appropriate treatment for bipolar disorder when an individual can't give informed consent?
Beginning in the 1950's lithium was the "gold standard" for the treatment of bipolar disorder. Then in the 1980's and 1990's studies began to appear that connected long-term lithium usage with renal failure requiring, eventually, dialysis and/or a kidney transplant.
Should a bipolar individual be informed that their preferred treatment might result in renal failure when that knowledge might result in the individual declining treatment? Can a mentally ill individual give informed consent when it comes to their treatment?