Why Even a Liberal Can Justify Limited Paternalistic Intervention in Anorexia Nervosa

Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 28 (2):155-158 (2021)
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Most adult persons with anorexia satisfy the existing criteria widely used to assess decision-making capacity, meaning that incapacity typically cannot be used to justify coercive intervention. After rejecting two other approaches to justification, Professor Radden concludes that it is most likely not possible to justify coercive medical intervention for persons with anorexia in liberal terms, though she leaves it open whether some other framework might succeed. I shall assume here that the standard approach to assessing decisionmaking capacity is adequate.1 The question then is whether we can justify—within a liberal framework—coercive intervention with the decision of a competent...

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