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Clean HandsPhilosophical Lessons from Scrupulosity$
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Jesse S. Summers and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190058692

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190058692.001.0001

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(p.168) 8 Treatment
Clean Hands

Jesse S. Summers

Walter Sinnott-Armstrong

Oxford University Press

We are sometimes justified in encouraging, pressuring, or requiring those with Scrupulosity to seek treatment, even if they object on moral grounds. The justification for treating OCD does not apply to Scrupulosity. Possible justifications for treatment over moral objection are harm to self or others, distress, future gratitude, community treatment standards, and internal incoherence of one’s beliefs due to arbitrariness, conflation, or fixation. All of these justifications avoid explicit appeals to the therapist’s own moral standards. Some forms of treatment raise no distinctive moral issues, but some raise ethical issues because they require the person to do things the person considers immoral. This can be alleviated in part by good communication with the therapist about the point of such treatment.

Keywords:   treatment, treatment over objection, radical acceptance, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Exposure and Response Prevention

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