Patient and citizen participation in health: the need for improved ethical support

Laura Williamson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    69 Citations (Scopus)


    Patient and citizen participation is now regarded as central to the promotion of sustainable health and health care. Involvement efforts create and encounter many diverse ethical challenges that have the potential to enhance or undermine their success. This article examines different expressions of patient and citizen participation and the support health ethics offers. It is contended that
    despite its prominence and the link between patient empowerment and autonomy, traditional bioethics is insufficient to guide participation efforts. In addition, the turn to a “social paradigm” of ethics in examinations of biotechnologies and public health does not provide an account of values that is commensurable with the pervasive autonomy paradigm. This exacerbates rather
    than eases tensions for patients and citizens endeavoring to engage with health. Citizen and patient participation must have a significant influence on the way we do health ethics if its potential is to be fulfilled.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)4-16
    Number of pages13
    JournalAmerican Journal of Bioethics
    Issue number6
    Early online date1 May 2014
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014


    • health ethics
    • patient support
    • bioethics


    Dive into the research topics of 'Patient and citizen participation in health: the need for improved ethical support'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this