Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 46 (5):605-629 (2021)

Authors
Lisa Dive
University of Technology Sydney
Abstract
The “right not to know” has generated significant discussion, especially regarding genetic information. In this paper, I argue that this purported right is better understood as a preference and that treating it as a substantive right has led to confusion. To support this claim, I present three critiques of the way the right not to know has been characterized. First, I demonstrate that the many conceptualizations of this right have hampered debate. Second, I show that the way autonomy is conceptualized in this literature is also problematic. Third, I examine the notion of a right in more detail, to support my third critique: that the right to know and the right not to know genetic information are often erroneously treated as having equivalent status. On my understanding, the claim being made is better thought of as a preference, not a right, and a preference not to know certain information becomes only one of several considerations relevant to medical decision making.
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DOI 10.1093/jmp/jhab017
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References found in this work BETA

Principles of Biomedical Ethics.Tom L. Beauchamp - 1979 - Oxford University Press.
Taking Rights Seriously.Ronald Dworkin (ed.) - 1977 - Duckworth.
The Theory and Practice of Autonomy.Gerald Dworkin - 1988 - Cambridge University Press.
Perfectionism.Thomas Hurka - 1993 - Oxford University Press.

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