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Sometimes, not always, not never: a response to Pickard and Pearce
  1. Patrick J Sullivan
  1. School of Law, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
  1. Correspondence to Mr Patrick J Sullivan, School of Law, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, UK; Patrick.Sullivan-2{at}


This paper provides a response to Hanna Pickard and Stephen Pearce’s paper ‘Balancing costs and benefits: a clinical perspective does not support a harm minimisation approach for self-injury outside of community settings.’ This paper responded to my article ‘Should healthcare professionals sometimes allow harm? The case of self-injury.’ There is much in the paper that I would agree with, but I feel it is important to respond to a number of the criticisms of my paper in order to clarify my position and to facilitate ongoing debate in relation to this important issue.

  • autonomy
  • paternalism

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.