When Push Comes to Shove—How Should Physicians Respond to Magical Thinking?


Søren Holm


Should doctors shove their patients to choose in ways that are aligned with the patients’ desired goals, when the patients’ choices go wrong because of magical beliefs? I argue that doctors should not shove their patients in this way, but push them towards better and more reflective decision making. We can do this by nudging techniques or by more direct advice giving. If patients still choose wrongly, it is their choice, and doctors have fulfilled their professional, ethical duties.




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