Authenticity, Best Interest, and Clinical Nudging

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review


In this issue of the Hastings Center Report, Moti Gorin, Steven Joffe, Neal Dickert, and Scott Halpern offer a comprehensive defense of the use of nudging techniques in the clinical context, with the aim of promoting the best interests of patients. Their argument is built on three important claims: Nudging is ubiquitous and inescapable in clinical choice situations, and there is no neutral way of informing patients about their treatment choices; many patients do not have authentic (preexisting) preferences concerning their treatment choices, and those that do can easily resist nudging; and, finally, since many people lack authentic preferences and those that do can still act on their preferences, nudging in the patients' best interest is justified. I agree with the authors that if these three claims stand up to scrutiny, then they will provide a justification for many types of clinical nudging. I am, however, skeptical as to whether the claims can be sustained, despite the valiant efforts of Gorin and colleagues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-40
Number of pages3
JournalThe Hastings Center report
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017


  • Journal Article


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