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Why shared decision making is not good enough: lessons from patients
  1. Gert Olthuis1,
  2. Carlo Leget2,
  3. Mieke Grypdonck3
  1. 1Chair Ethics of Care, Tilburg University, School of Humanities, Tilburg, The Netherlands
  2. 2University of Humanistic Studies, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  3. 3Department of Nursing, Ghent University, Gent, Belgium
  1. Correspondence to Dr Gert Olthuis, Tilburg University, School of Humanities, PO Box 90153, Tilburg 5000 LE, The Netherlands; g.j.olthuis{at}


A closer look at the lived illness experiences of medical professionals themselves shows that shared decision making is in need of a logic of care. This paper underlines that medical decision making inevitably takes place in a messy and uncertain context in which sharing responsibilities may impose a considerable burden on patients. A better understanding of patients’ lived experiences enables healthcare professionals to attune to what individual patients deem important in their lives. This will contribute to making medical decisions in a good and caring manner, taking into account the lived experience of being ill.

  • Education for Health Care Professionals
  • Health Personnel
  • Quality of Health Care

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