Proxy Consent and Counterfactual Wishes
Journal of Medicine and Philosophy. 1983 Nov; 8(4): 405-416.
Various conditions have been proposed for morally validating proxy consent to medical treatment on behalf of incompetent patients who were never competent or who, though previously competent, never expressed an opinion on the proposed treatment. One such condition is based on the hypothetical or 'counterfactual' wishes of the incompetent patient. Wierenga rejects this condition and offers instead the 'best interests' standard, which may not necessarily match the hypothetical wishes of the patient. (KIE abstract)