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Why do patients want information, if not to make decisions?

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date12/2010
JournalJournal of Medical Ethics
Journal number12
Volume36
Number of pages4
Pages834-837
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

There is empirical evidence that many patients want information about treatment options even though they do not want to take a full part in decision‐making about treatment. Such evidence may have considerable ethical implications but is methodologically problematic. It is argued here that, in fact, it is not at all surprising that patients’ informational interests should be separable from (and often stronger than) their interests in decision‐making. A number of different reasons for wanting information are offered, some to do with the content of information; some with the process, others with the fact or occasion of informing. This philosophical clarification leads to some suggestions for further empirical study.

Bibliographic note

Copyright © 2010 by the BMJ Publishing Group Ltd & Institute of Medical Ethics