WEH/Ethox Seminar: Nudging People into Consent
Dr Maximilian Kiener, Extraordinary Junior Research Fellow in Philosophy, The Queen's College, University of Oxford
Tuesday, 14 April 2020, 11am to 12.30pm
Behavioural psychology showed that so-called ‘nudging’ or, more generally, ‘non-persuasive’ influences can have a decisive impact on people’s behaviour. In this presentation, I examine the question of when, if at all, such influences vitiate consent to a medical procedure. After explaining what I call ‘non-persuasive influences’ in greater detail, I reject the majority view, according to which such influences vitiate consent if and only if they fail to satisfy the conditions of easy resistibility, transparency, or rationality. Instead, I argue that non-persuasive influences vitiate consent if and only if they ‘undermine’ a person’s decision-making in one three ways, which I call distraction, exclusion, and pressure; and they preserve valid consent when they ‘enhance’ a person’s decision-making in one of three ways, which I call de-biasing, re-biasing, and - in specific situations - exploiting some bias. I will offer two types of support for my view: firstly, my view – unlike those accounts focusing on resistibility, transparency, and rationality – delivers the correct result in a range of cases and, secondly, my view correctly aligns with more general considerations concerning an appropriate protection of the consenter’s autonomy.
This WEH/Ethox seminar will be held by video conference through Bluejeans. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for the link to the meeting.