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Ulysses arrangements in psychiatry: a matter of good care?


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
  • psychiatry

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