IN THE Odyssey, Odysseus directs his men to tie him to their ship's mast as they approach the mind-altering call of the Sirens.1 He forbids his crew to unlash him lest they all be destroyed and never reach their beloved Ithaca. Translated into a modern idiom, Odysseus outlines an advance directive for when he is decisionally incapacitated by the Sirens' seductions. He gives consent to his crew to bind and restrain him though he might ask for release.
See also pages 401 and 412
Addressing the ethics of medication-free research in schizophrenia, we can consider informed consent and protection of human subjects in light of this classical tale. Does the consent of a competent schizophrenic subject extend into a period of psychosis resulting from the agreed-upon drug-free interval? If consent is a process to be maintained over time,2 then how is ongoing voluntariness3 assured when the
Fins JJ, Miller FG. The Call of the SirensNavigating the Ethics of Medication-Free Research in Schizophrenia. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1997;54(5):415-416. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1997.01830170031005