To nudge or not to nudge: cancer screening programmes and the limits of libertarian paternalism

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'Nudging-and the underlying idea 'libertarian paternalism'-to an increasing degree influences policy thinking in the healthcare sector. This article discusses the influence exerted upon a woman's choice of participation in the Danish breast screening programme in light of 'libertarian paternalism'. The basic tenet of 'libertarian paternalism' is outlined and the relationship between 'libertarian paternalism' and informed consent investigated. Key elements in the process of enrolling women into the Danish mammography screening programme are introduced. It is shown that for several reasons the influence exerted upon women's choices of participation cannot be justified within a welfare-enhancing libertarian paternalistic framework. The article suggests that screening programmes alternatively adopt a liberty-enhancing approach and considers the practical implications of this alternative
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Community Health
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)1193-1196
Number of pages3
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2012

ID: 44566082