This article concerns the issue of how an ethic of care perspective may contribute to both normative theory and mental health care policy discussions on so called Ulysses arrangements, a special type of advance directives in psychiatry. The debate on Ulysses arrangements has predominantly been waged in terms of autonomy conceived of as the right to non-intervention. On the basis of our empirical investigations into the experiences of persons directly involved with Ulysses arrangements, we argue that a care ethics perspective may broaden and deepen the debate on Ulysses arrangements, by introducing additional concepts, such as vulnerability, responsibility and mutuality, and by refining familiar concepts, such as autonomy.
- medical ethics
- ethics of care
- advance directives
Statistics from Altmetric.com
Funding: The research project described has been funded by The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) from 1999 to 2002 with no further involvement.
Competing interests: None.
↵iWe prefer the term Ulysses “arrangement” to the terms “contract” or “statement” that may be found as well. The term “contract” may put too much emphasis on juridical aspects; “statement” has the connotation of a one-sided declaration, whereas the term “arrangement” suggests that both in the formulation and in the application others are involved. This is one reason why Ulysses arrangements may be considered a special type of advance directive. Another special characteristic is that Ulysses arrangements concern temporary situations that patients have experienced earlier.
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.