Consent's Been Framed: When Framing Effects Invalidate Consent and How to Validate It Again

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Abstract

In this article I will argue first that if ignorance poses a problem for valid consent in medical contexts then framing effects do too, and second that the problem posed by framing effects can be solved by eliminating those effects. My position is thus a mean between two mistaken extremes. At one mistaken extreme, framing effects are so trivial that they never impinge on the moral force of consent. This is as mistaken as thinking that ignorance is so trivial that it never impinges on the moral force of consent. At the other mistaken extreme, framing effects are so serious that their existence shows that consent has no independent moral force. This is as mistaken as the idea that ignorance is so serious that its existence shows that consent has no independent moral force. I will argue that, instead of endorsing either of these mistaken extreme views, we should instead endorse a moderate view according to which framing effects sometimes pose a serious challenge for the validity of consent, just as ignorance does, but one which we can solve by eliminating the effect, just as we can solve the problem of ignorance by eliminating it.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)270-285
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Applied Philosophy
Volume33
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy

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