This chapter considers the coherence and force of appeals to hypothetical consent—that to which a person would consent if he or she were in a position to do so. We might say it is permissible to perform surgery on an unconscious person because he or she would have consented had he or she been able to consent or arrange a person's posthumous affairs by reference to what he or she would have consented. Although the intuitive force of hypothetical consent is powerful, some philosophers have argued that such hypothetical consent not only is not real consent, but also that it can do no moral work. The chapter argues that this view is too quick.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.