The morality of coercion

S. M. Glick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The author congratulates Dr Brian Hurwitz, who recently reported the successful ″intimidation″ of an elderly competent widow into accepting badly needed therapy for a huge ulcerated carcinoma. He reports approvingly of the Israeli Patients' Rights Law, enacted in 1996, which demands detailed informed consent from competent patients before permitting treatment. But the law also provides an escape clause which permits coercing a competent patient into accepting life-saving therapy if an ethics committee feels that if treatment is imposed the patient will give his/her consent retroactively. He suggests this approach as an appropriate middle road between overbearing paternalism and untrammelled autonomy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)393-395
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Medical Ethics
Issue number5
StatePublished - 31 Oct 2000


  • Autonomy
  • Coercion
  • Informed consent
  • Patient rights

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects
  • Health(social science)
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Health Policy


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