Question in question: How do addiction and fear affect patient's decisional-making capacity?

The history of it is this:

  1. First I asked it on Medical Sciences SE because I though it would be better suited in there (it's more about ethics, practice and even law, not just psychology)
  2. The mod in there thought that it was better in this site (PN) and migrated it to here
  3. I "asked" them to migrate back to MS, and they asked the mods in PN to help migrate back to MS (I wouldn't call that an official request. I just expressed my line of thinking and they acted. I'm not blaming them.)
  4. A frequent user in both sites expresses that it's still better suited in PN. That MS mod reconfirms that even though they help me re-migrate back to MS, they still think it's a mistake.

What do I think? Well, according to the planned behavior theory, when I see a social norm, from whom have credibility, then my behavior would change. However, that mod refuses to play a ping pong migration with the reason:

I asked the P&N mods for a favor when I asked them to migrate it back. Asking them now to undo that favor would be an annoying waste of their time and would harm not just my credibility with them but this entire site's credibility. Sorry, but you're going to have to delete your question here and create a new one on P&N if you want it back there again.

Can I ask you a favor to not take his credibility and the entire site's credibility, but just only my credibility? Yes, deleting the MS one and create a new one here isn't a problem for me, but this would lose all benefits of migration (preserving comments, votes, redirections). I don't see this really have any problem. I also wonder if there are precedents of this or not?

  • 1
    Migration "ping pong" is not that big a deal (just clicking a button really). But just because a question is migrated here, doesn't necessarily mean it will stay open here, so I would recommend ensuring that it actually belongs here before doing that. I will wait for Chris Rogers to explain his reasoning, but I tend to agree with you Ooker, that this question would get different answers on medical.SE than psych.SE, so it's more up to you as to which answer you are looking for, and to that end, you should edit the question to make that clear.
    – Arnon Weinberg Mod
    Dec 10, 2020 at 6:16
  • 1
    I expressed that I'm more about ethical, practical, legal side, rather than just a pure cognitive aspect of the decision-making process. But both Carey Gregory and Chris Rogers reaffirm that PN handles this better than MS.
    – Ooker
    Dec 10, 2020 at 8:19
  • 1
    I remain unclear on what sort of answer exactly your question is trying to get at. It seems too broad for me, wherever it ends up.
    – Bryan Krause Mod
    Dec 10, 2020 at 17:50
  • 1
    @BryanKrause "I'm more about ethical, practical, legal side, rather than just a pure cognitive aspect of the decision-making process." May I ask why you find it unclear?
    – Ooker
    Dec 11, 2020 at 4:41
  • 2
    Your title is "How do addiction and fear affect patient's decisional-making capacity?" which suggest an answer about patient decision-making ability (probably better on psych&neuro). But if you are asking about what is ethical or practical it seems your question is closer to "What do medical professionals do about 'informed consent' for treatment when a patient's decision making capacity is threatened by addiction?" (medsci) Then there's the bit about "fear" which seems too vague to me; "fear" is extremely broad.
    – Bryan Krause Mod
    Dec 11, 2020 at 18:43
  • @BryanKrause your suggestion is definitely better. I didn't know how to improve it. Thanks. As for fear, can you elaborate? If I change it to "incorrect or maladaptive belief, which may be a result of past trauma", would it be clearer?
    – Ooker
    Dec 12, 2020 at 8:15
  • @Ooker Maybe it would help to start with what you think fits into this category before trying to label it. Were you trying to use "fear" to include something like anorexia?
    – Bryan Krause Mod
    Dec 12, 2020 at 14:55
  • @Bryan I think so. For example, a patient who has distrust with doctors in general (e.g. they used to be exploited by doctors). Would they have the decisional capacity for refusing treatment?
    – Ooker
    Dec 13, 2020 at 12:15

3 Answers 3


My answer in MedicalSciences meta was;

Looking at your question, yes it has relevance in MedicalSciences.SE but decisions on mental capacity for decision making is formed out of psychological studies.

Psychology is a branch of medical science which is why you can get cross-overs on subjects.

This question to me is purely about psychology rather than medical science in general and therefore more suited to Psychology.SE as originally thought by @Careygregory

As for practical and ethical perspectives, psychology studies things from the practically and ethically oriented perspectives. Ethics is at the forefront of all psychological studies. At least from the Western studies of Psychology. Being from Vietnam, maybe you are exposed to different forms of psychological study but nevertheless, Psychology.SE does not accept answers not based on scientific studies.

As for the "ping-pong" of questions, it may not be a big deal on the mod side as @Arnonweinberg points out, but to me it isn't conducive to effective posting within StackExchange.

Not only is the post being bounced back and forth between sites, playing ping-pong clogs the question with comments, meta posts etc. which don't really help to answer your question.

I gave you my point of view regarding your question, pointing out why it has a better fit here in my mind and @Careygregory seems to agree.

If you feel your question is more suited within Medical Sciences, as @Arnonweinberg points out, an edit to your question within MedicalSciences.SE is required to make it clear what makes your question not psychology related.

Otherwise, in my view, deleting the question in MedicalSciences.SE and posting a fresh question here creates a fresh start to the question and has less distraction within the comments, allowing for a more effective post in StackExchange.

  • 1
    Yes I think I want to migrate to PN now. I just think that a migration has more benefit to the question than creating new. Comments can be clean up easily. Since Arnon Weinberg has stated that the ping pong is not a big deal, I think we don't need to worry about the credibility.
    – Ooker
    Dec 10, 2020 at 14:15
  • The question will always be psychology related. @Ooker should simply choose and edit the question to address the MS community's concerns (i.e., make it more clearly MS related) if he wants to keep it there. Or, opt to move it here, and then likely address different concerns on this site. I agree the meta posts may have been unnecessary (edits to the Q would have been more fruitful), but what is done is done. Let's move forward. :)
    – Steven Jeuris Mod
    Dec 11, 2020 at 9:47

Obviously this is a divisive issue, which mostly means the question may be appropriate on both sites. I would not look too much into differences in opinion on where this questions belongs, or how to deal with it, other than that. Let's stay focused on the question!

Judging by your intent—you express a desire for an answer mostly rooted/based in medical context. Therefore, I agree with you this question most likely is a better fit for Medical Sciences SE.

But, as as @Arnon, another mod here, points out:

I tend to agree with you Ooker, that this question would get different answers on medical.SE than psych.SE, so it's more up to you as to which answer you are looking for, and to that end, you should edit the question to make that clear.

My interpretation of your question or theirs may be wrong. Ultimately, it is only through engaging with the community you can find out how to best improve your question so that you may get the answers you seek. And, don't get me wrong, by all means you already posed an excellent question and I think the up votes reflect that! But even good questions may still need refinement.

Concretely, I agree with Poidah's comment:

every jurisdiction has different rules and practice regarding enforced treatment. Which one are you referring to? Don't think there has been much research on broad generalisations otherwise. A lot of ethical discussions though

If medical context (as you point out) is key to your question, you need to point out which medical context (or maybe several) you are interested in. Consider that, without specifying this your question may be too broad. I can't assess that, since ironically that depends on the answer, but the MS community is guiding you here.

I'm fine either way whichever decision you make. Let me know and I'll make sure the question ends up where you want it.

  • 1
    Thank you for your enthusiastic support, I really appreciate it. After a suggestion from Bryan Krause, I've changed the title to "A patient refuses treatment because of addiction or fear. How do medical and legal professionals assess their decision-making capacity?" I'll see how this goes in MS for a couple days
    – Ooker
    Dec 12, 2020 at 14:36

The fact that there's now a meta thread on this just convinces me further that I'm not going to migrate your question again. This question has generated too many comments, too much debate, and consumed too much time for one question. If you want it back in P&N again, you'll have to start a new question and delete your question in MedSci.

  • But at least the ping-pong issue and the credibility issue are solved? If you don't raise these issues at the beginning, then there wouldn't be much comment or time consuming at all (again, not blaming). Plus I don't think these debates are useless at all. It will help future users. But I understand your fatigue and appreciate your input so far
    – Ooker
    Dec 10, 2020 at 15:11
  • While I fully agree the meta threads are not the right approach to resolve this issue, I disagree migrating it back should be off the table. But, of course this is ultimately your decision and I respect that. Fwiw, I personally believe the question has the best chance to get the answer I think Ooker seeks at MS (after an edit).
    – Steven Jeuris Mod
    Dec 11, 2020 at 9:53

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