While both medical law and medical ethics have developed in a way that has sought to prioritise patient autonomy, it is less clear whether it has done so in a way that enhances the self-determination of patients from non-western backgrounds. In this article, we consider the desire of some patients from non-western backgrounds for family involvement in decision-making and argue that this desire is not catered for effectively in either medical law or medical ethics. We examine an alternative approach based on relational autonomy that might serve both to allow such patients to exercise their self-determination while still allowing them to include family members in the decision-making process.
Roy Gilbar and José Miola, One Size Fits All? On Patient Autonomy, Medical Decision-Making, And The Impact Of Culture. Medical Law Review (2014), doi: 10.1093/medlaw/fwu032. First published online: December 16, 2014.