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Do Patients Want to Participate in Decisions About Their Own Medical Care?
John D. Lantos

Do patients want to be autonomous? Current legal and bioethical paradigms suggest that they not only want to be, but that they ought to be. It is sometimes difficult to sort out whether autonomy is perceived as a right or as a duty. Patients themselves seem to give a more nuanced answer about their own preferences. For example, Strull and colleagues (1984) surveyed 50 clinicians and 210 patients t...

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Target Article

Placebo Effects and Informed Consent
Mark Alfano

The concepts of placebos and placebo effects refer to extremely diverse phenomena. I recommend dissolving the concepts of placebos and placebo effects into loosely related groups of specific mechanisms, including (potentially among others) expectation-fulfillment, classical conditioning, and attentional-somatic feedback loops. If this approach is on the right track, it has three main implications ...

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Doctors, Patients, and Nudging in the Clinical Context—Four Views on Nudging and Informed Consent
Thomas Ploug & Søren Holm

In an analysis of recent work on nudging we distinguish three positions on the relationship between nudging founded in libertarian paternalism and the protection of personal autonomy through informed consent. We argue that all three positions fail to provide adequate protection of personal autonomy in the clinical context. Acknowledging that nudging may be beneficial, we suggest a fourth position ...

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