The contention that paternalism can be modernised in such a way as to avoid the usual criticisms is examined and dismissed. The alleged 'modernisation' consists simply in going through the motions of achieving the patient's free consent, while leaving the ultimate decision to the physician. Paternalism in this form is no better than the more old-fashioned variety, since it still takes away from patients the fundamental human right to make decisions about their own fate.
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