On the Prospects of Collective Informed Consent
Journal of Applied Philosophy 2008; 25(1): 35-44
It has been suggested that collective informed consent procedures could be used in solving moral problems arising in connection with such collective arrangements as land use planning, business administration, and developing new technology. Critics have however argued that informed consent is not an appropriate method for collective moral decision-making for three reasons. Firstly, informed consent procedures only allow the affected parties to choose between rejecting and accepting certain predetermined options, while those parties should be allowed to take part in the decision-making process as a whole. Secondly, identifying the parties whose informed consent should be sought would in many cases be problematic. Thirdly, informed consent is a veto power concept, and granting all parties affected by a collective arrangement veto power as to its completion would make taking such collective action extremely difficult. In this article, it is argued that these criticisms do not undermine collective informed consent.
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