David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 3 (3):338 (1994)
A basic assumption in current western medicine is that good healthcare involves informed choices. Indeed, making informed choices is not only viewed as “good practice” but a right to which each individual is entitled, a perspective only recently developed in the medical field.Moreover, in the case of ethical decisions, much of the discussion on the role of the family is cast within the autonomy paradigm of contemporary bioethics; that is, family members provide emotional support but do not make decisions for the competent adult patient. The family Is uniformly viewed as an Important proxy decision maker for incompetent patients; but most bioethicists would eschew any decision-making role for the family of mentally competent adult patients. Underlying the discussion of autonomy is the basic assumption in western medicine that good healthcare Involves choices by Informed individuals
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