One Size Fits All? On Patient Autonomy, Informed Consent and the Impact of Culture
40 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2014
Date Written: October 10, 2014
While both medical law and medical ethics have developed in a way that has sought to prioritise patient autonomy, it is less clear whether it has done so in a way that enhances the self-determination of some patients, particularly but not exclusively from non-Western backgrounds. In this article we consider the desire of such patients for family involvement in decision-making and argue that this desire is not catered for effectively in either medical law or medical ethics. We examine an alternative approach based on relational autonomy that might serve both to allow such patients to exercise their self-determination while still allowing them to include family members in the decision-making process.
Keywords: Medical Law, Autonomy, Family, Relational Autonomy, Consent, Culture
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