Shove and Nudge: A Commentary on Iserson


Kalle Grill


In this comment on Kenneth Iserson’s article, ”Do You Believe in Magic? Shove, Don’t Nudge: Advising Patients at the Bedside,” I discuss the definition of and the moral evaluation of nudging. I propose that using persuasive descriptions and intentionally building trust in patients by one’s demeanor is a form of nudging. I argue that nudging is not necessarily morally problematic, but that it can be controlling and can limit liberty, despite proponents’ claims to the contrary. I agree with Iserson that clinicians should give their patients explicit advice, but add that they should ideally also be aware of the more subtle psychological effects of advice giving.




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