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Minimizing harm via psychological intervention: response to Glannon
  1. Joshua Shepherd
  1. Correspondence to Dr Joshua Shepherd, Oxford Centre for Neuroethics, University of Oxford, Suite 8, Littlegate House, Oxford OX1 1PT, UK; Joshua.shepherd{at}


In a recent discussion, Walter Glannon discusses a number of ways we might try to minimise harm to patients who experience intraoperative awareness. In this response, I direct attention to a possibility that deserves further attention. It might be that a kind of psychological intervention—namely, informing patients of the possibility of intraoperative awareness and of what to expect in such a case—would constitute a unique way to respect patient autonomy, as well as minimise the harm that typically follows intraoperative awareness events.

  • Anaesthetics / Anesthesiology
  • Autonomy
  • Consciousness
  • Moral Psychology

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