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Exploring the boundaries of autonomy and the ‘right’ to access innovative stem cell therapies

Exploring the boundaries of autonomy and the ‘right’ to access innovative stem cell therapies Demands for improved access to innovative therapies have prompted a discourse that claims patients have rights to access treatments that may be of benefit, even if evidence that demonstrates safety and efficacy is lacking. This rights-based discourse is grounded in accounts of autonomy and assertions claiming that the state ought to not interfere with the free choices of patients and clinical decision-making. In this essay, we scrutinise these arguments to defend the ethical and legal permissibility of interference in contexts where the uncertainty of benefit and potential for harm creates vulnerabilities that undermine patient capacity for self-determination. In support of this argument, we draw on two theoretical approaches to explore the limits of autonomy in innovative contexts and analyse the legal bases of the rights-based discourse. We then apply this analysis to the case example of stem cell transplantation as an innovative treatment for multiple sclerosis. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Asian Bioethics Review Springer Journals

Exploring the boundaries of autonomy and the ‘right’ to access innovative stem cell therapies

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 by National University of Singapore and Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd.
Subject
Philosophy; Bioethics; Ethics; Medical Law; Public Health; Biomedicine, general; Health Administration
ISSN
1793-8759
eISSN
1793-9453
DOI
10.1007/s41649-017-0001-4
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Demands for improved access to innovative therapies have prompted a discourse that claims patients have rights to access treatments that may be of benefit, even if evidence that demonstrates safety and efficacy is lacking. This rights-based discourse is grounded in accounts of autonomy and assertions claiming that the state ought to not interfere with the free choices of patients and clinical decision-making. In this essay, we scrutinise these arguments to defend the ethical and legal permissibility of interference in contexts where the uncertainty of benefit and potential for harm creates vulnerabilities that undermine patient capacity for self-determination. In support of this argument, we draw on two theoretical approaches to explore the limits of autonomy in innovative contexts and analyse the legal bases of the rights-based discourse. We then apply this analysis to the case example of stem cell transplantation as an innovative treatment for multiple sclerosis.

Journal

Asian Bioethics ReviewSpringer Journals

Published: Jun 23, 2017

References