The imperative character of medical technology and the meaning of "anticipated decision regret"

Int J Technol Assess Health Care. 1989;5(2):207-13. doi: 10.1017/s0266462300006437.


Medical-technical possibilities are often experienced as being strongly compelling. This imperative character of medical technology not only applies to the medical profession, but also to patients who frequently find it very difficult to refuse medical examinations or treatments. This article discusses the technological imperative with regard to patients. It attempts to discover relationships with decision theory, particularly concerning "anticipated decision regret." The fact that prevention of regret plays an important role in the use of medical technology is illustrated through a number of examples: liver transplantation, prenatal diagnosis, screening, and in vitro fertilization.

MeSH terms

  • Decision Theory*
  • Family
  • Female
  • Fertilization in Vitro
  • Humans
  • Liver Transplantation
  • Male
  • Mass Screening
  • Netherlands
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Diagnosis
  • Technology Assessment, Biomedical*