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Undermining Communicative Action in the Medical Encounter

Informed Consent, Compelled Speech, and Promises to Pay

Leigh E. Rich

Abstract Book chapter for the edited volume The Twenty-First Century and Its Discontents examining legal and bioethical issues of informed consent, using examples from medical television dramas, philosopher Jürgen Habermas’ work on communicative action, and physician compelled speech laws. Ideally, informed consent is achieved through (ongoing) conversation between a health care provider and a patient regarding the patient’s care, where both parties reach a level of shared understanding. How can providers ensure and improve communicative action, and do certain laws and the health care system itself impede emancipatory understanding and, thus, patient autonomy?

Read the full chapter
Rich, Leigh E. 2020. Undermining communicative action in the medical encounter: Informed consent, compelled speech, and promises to pay. In Jack Simmons (Ed.), The twenty-first century and its discontents: How changing discourse norms are changing culture (pp. 65–105). Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

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