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The Future of BioethicsInternational Dialogues$
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Akira Akabayashi

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199682676

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199682676.001.0001

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Commentary

Commentary

Whose Interest Is It Anyway? Autonomy and Family-Facilitated Approach to Decision-Making

Chapter:
(p.757) 21.3 Commentary
Source:
The Future of Bioethics
Author(s):

Anita Ho

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199682676.003.0107

This paper argues that independence and interdependence come in degrees and can change according to the context. Acknowledging that some patients may identify themselves as part of a larger familial unit rather than an isolated individual unit, this paper contends that a soft proxy approach may be appropriate when we have patients’ explicit consent or when there is evidence of harmonious familial relationship. Nonetheless, sometimes the line between interdependency and co-dependency can be blurry. When there is an imbalance of power and expectations, healthcare providers need to be careful in assuming that the family’s and patient’s interests align, as generally assumed by the interdependent view of personhood.

Keywords:   Relational autonomy, interdependency, independency, co-dependency, soft proxy approach

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