Bioethics 27 (7):395-401 (2013)
|Abstract||Does addiction to heroin undermine the voluntariness of heroin addicts' consent to take part in research which involves giving them free and legal heroin? This question has been raised in connection with research into the effectiveness of heroin prescription as a way of treating dependent heroin users. Participants in such research are required to give their informed consent to take part. Louis C. Charland has argued that we should not presume that heroin addicts are competent to do this since heroin addiction by nature involves a loss of ability to resist the desire for heroin. In this article, I argue that Charland is right that we should not presume that heroin addicts are competent to consent, but not for the reason he thinks. In fact, as Charland's critics correctly point out, there is plenty of evidence showing that heroin addicts can resist their desire for heroin. These critics are wrong, however, to conclude from this that we should presume that heroin addicts are competent to give their voluntary consent. There are, I shall argue, other conditions associated with heroin addiction that might constrain heroin addicts' choice in ways likely to undermine the voluntariness of their consent. In order to see this, we need to move beyond the focus on the addicts' desires for heroin and instead consider the wider social and psychological circumstances of heroin addiction, as well as the effects these circumstances may have on the addicts' beliefs about the nature of their options|
|Keywords||voluntary choice addiction irresistible desire informed consent|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
Bennett Foddy & Julian Savulescu (2006). Addiction and Autonomy: Can Addicted People Consent to the Prescription of Their Drug of Addiction? Bioethics 20 (1):1–15.
Louis C. Charland (2002). Cynthia's Dilemma: Consenting to Heroin Prescription. American Journal of Bioethics 2 (2):37 – 47.
Tom Walker (2008). Giving Addicts Their Drug of Choice: The Problem of Consent. Bioethics 22 (6):314–320.
Mark Colyvan, Helen M. Regan & Scott Ferson (2001). Is It a Crime to Belong to a Reference Class. Journal of Political Philosophy 9 (2):168–181.
H. ten Have & P. Sporken (1985). Heroin Addiction, Ethics and Philosophy of Medicine. Journal of Medical Ethics 11 (4):173-177.
Deborah Bowman (2011). Informed Consent: A Primer for Clinical Practice. Cambridge University Press.
Tom Walker (2013). Respecting Autonomy Without Disclosing Information. Bioethics 27 (7):388-394.
M. Sheehan (2011). Can Broad Consent Be Informed Consent? Public Health Ethics 4 (3):226-235.
Gregory K. Pike (2012). Monkey on the Back: The Nature of Addiction. Bioethics Research Notes 24 (3):46.
James Stacey Taylor (2005). Willing Addicts, Unwilling Addicts, and Acting of One's Own Free Will. Philosophia 33 (1-4):237-262.
Jennifer A. Parks (1999). Ethical Androcentrism and Maternal Substance Addiction. International Journal of Applied Philosophy 13 (2):165-175.
Augustine Frimpong-mansoh (2008). Culture and Voluntary Informed Consent in African Health Care Systems. Developing World Bioethics 8 (2):104-114.
N. Waller Bruce (1995). Individual Autonomy and the Double-Blind Controlled Experiment: The Case of Desperate Volunteers. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 20 (1).
Dominique Sprumont (2002). Ethical Evaluation of Heroin-Prescription Research: An Insider's View. American Journal of Bioethics 2 (2):63-64.
Added to index2012-04-13
Total downloads20 ( #68,257 of 722,929 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #20,425 of 722,929 )
How can I increase my downloads?