WHOSE CONSENT IS IT ANYWAY? A POSTSTRUCTURALIST FRAMING OF THE PERSON IN MEDICAL DECISION-MAKING

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Abstract

ABSTRACT

This paper explores the value of a Poststructuralist psychoanalytic model of persons, or “Subjects,” as an expanded frame for the question “Whose consent is it anyway?” The elaboration of the need for this expanded frame, its tenets and its value form the substance of the paper. This frame incorporates the emotional, linguistic, and socio-cultural dimensions that help restore patients and physicians to their full status as persons from their restricted status, in the current dominant theory and model, as unidimensional, rationalistic, medico-legally constructed players; emphasizes their interconnectedness; and, focuses broadly on responsibility as bearing consequences, and not only accountability. This frame does not deny the role and importance of cognition or rationality, it supplements them. It does not supplant rationality, but rather includes it in a view of the person that also includes those other human capacities which are not based on an ideal of pure reason.

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