Strategic Ambiguities in the Process of Consent: Role of the Family in Decisions to Forgo Life-Sustaining Treatment for Incompetent Elderly Patients
Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 2004 April; 29(2): 207-223
This paper evaluates the Hong Kong approach to consent regarding the forgoing of life-sustaining treatment for incompetent elderly patients. It analyzes the contextualized approach in the Hong Kong process-based, consensus-building model, in contrast to other role-based models which emphasize the establishment of a system of formal laws and a clear locus of decisional authority. Without embracing relativism, the paper argues that the Hong Kong model offers an instructive example of how strategic ambiguities can both make good sense within particular cultural context and serve important moral goals.
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