Prescription Drug Laws: Justified Hard Paternalism
Rainbolt, George W.
Bioethics. 1989 Jan; 3(1): 45-58.
Prescription drug laws are justified as examples of permissible hard paternalism and not as soft paternalism, which is morally legitimated by the defective cognitive or affective state of the individual on whose behalf the action is performed. Other examples of hard paternalism are considered, along with two strategies for determining the limits of paternalism. It is concluded that instances of permissible hard paternalism exist and that the only acceptable strategy is to balance harm and benefit on a case-by-case basis. (KIE abstract)
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