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What makes a medical intervention invasive? A reply to commentaries
  1. Gabriel De Marco1,
  2. Jannieke Simons2,
  3. Lisa Forsberg1,3,
  4. Thomas Douglas1,4
  1. 1Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  2. 2Department of Bioethics and Health Humanities, Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  3. 3Somerville College, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  4. 4Jesus College, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Thomas Douglas; thomas.douglas{at}

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We are grateful to the commentators for their close reading of our article1 and for their challenging and interesting responses to it. We do not have space to respond to all of the objections that they raise, so in this reply, we address only a selection of them.

Some commentaries question the usefulness of developing an account of the sort we provide,2 or of revising the Standard Account (SA) in doing so.3–5 Our schema is intended to provide a framework for developing a full account of invasiveness that captures existing uses of the term. On the assumption that the term is used somewhat reliably and consistently–and we are inclined to agree with some of our commentators3 4 that people are not terribly confused or mistaken in how they employ the term–an account that captures these uses will have a claim to being considered a good account of invasiveness.

Of course, it may well be that we should prefer an account–such as the SA–that does not capture all uses of the term. We suggested–and would like to re-emphasise–that we are open to the possibility that some existing uses of ‘invasive’ should be rejected as confused or mistaken. We suspect, for example, that …

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  • Funding This study was funded by Uehiro Foundation on Ethics and Education (no award/grant number), British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship (pf170028), European Research Council (819757).

  • Competing interests None declared.

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

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  • Feature article
    Gabriel De Marco Jannieke Simons Lisa Forsberg Thomas Douglas

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