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Existential autonomy: why patients should make their own choices.
  1. H Madder
  1. John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford.


    Savulescu has recently introduced the "rational non-interventional paternalist" model of the patient-doctor relationship. This paper addresses objections to such a model from the perspective of an anaesthetist. Patients need to make their own decisions if they are to be fully autonomous. Rational non-interventional paternalism undermines the importance of patient choice and so threatens autonomy. Doctors should provide an evaluative judgment of the best medical course of action, but ought to restrict themselves to helping patients to make their own choices rather than making such choices for them.

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