Transformative Choice and Decision-Making Capacity

Law Quarterly Review 139 (4):654-680 (2023)
  Copy   BIBTEX


This article is about the information relevant to decision-making capacity in refusal of life-prolonging medical treatment cases. We examine the degree to which the phenomenology of the options available to the agent—what the relevant states of affairs will feel like for them—forms part of the capacity-relevant information in the law of England and Wales, and how this informational basis varies across adolescent and adult medical treatment cases. We identify an important doctrinal phenomenon. In the leading authorities, the courts appear to count the first-personal phenomenology of the available options among the information that adolescents seeking to refuse life-prolonging treatment must understand and appreciate in order to possess capacity; adults are not held to this (higher) standard. We evaluate this differential treatment in light of philosophical work on transformative choice—decisions involving options whose sensory character, and effect on our values and preferences, are grasped only through experience itself.



External links

  • This entry has no external links. Add one.
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Decision-Making Capacity.Jennifer Hawkins & Louis C. Charland - 2020 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Mental capacity and the applied phenomenology of judgement.Wayne Martin & Ryan Hickerson - 2013 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 12 (1):195-214.
Decision making capacity should not be decisive in emergencies.Dieneke Hubbeling - 2014 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 17 (2):229-238.


Added to PP

308 (#68,710)

6 months
205 (#13,953)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author Profiles

Isra Black
University College London
Lisa Forsberg
University of Oxford
Anthony Skelton
University of Western Ontario

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Transformative Experience and Decision Theory.Richard Pettigrew - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 91 (3):766-774.
Childhood and Personhood.Tamar Schapiro - 2003 - Arizona Law Review 575 45:575-594.
Epistemic Transformation and Rational Choice.Krister Bykvist & H. Orri Stefánsson - 2017 - Economics and Philosophy 33 (1):125-138.

View all 6 references / Add more references