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Indirect Paternalism & Medical Professional ethics

Indirect Paternalism & Medical Professional ethics

This project belongs to the following research constellations:

Cultural & Social Critique


Beate Roessler


Staff: Beate Roessler

Postdocs: Henri Wijsbek, K. Davies, M.L. Rurup, J.H. van de Beek


ZonMw, a collaboration between VWS and NWO, will be funding a post doctoral reseach project by Henri Wijsbek on Indirect Paternalism and Medical Professional Ethics. In medical ethics, it is often simply assumed that if I have the right to take a certain decision, anyone I ask has the right to help me do so. The principle tacitly appealed to in these cases is a kind of indirect paternalism, known as the Volenti principle: Volenti non fit inuria, he who consents cannot be harmed. No legal system, however, accepts this principle without restrictions. We intend to investigate under what conditions this principle can be validly applied and what the consequences are for nontreatment decisions and cosmetic surgery.