Law, ethics, and the patient preference predictor

J Med Philos. 2014 Apr;39(2):178-86. doi: 10.1093/jmp/jhu004. Epub 2014 Feb 13.


The Patient Preference Predictor (PPP) is intended to improve treatment decision making for incapacitated patients. The PPP would collect information about the treatment preferences of people with different demographic and other characteristics. It could be used to indicate which treatment option an individual patient would be most likely to prefer, based on data about the preferences of people who resemble the patient. The PPP could be incorporated into existing US law governing treatment for incapacitated patients, although it is unclear whether it would be classified as evidence of a specific patient's preferences or those of a reasonable person sharing certain characteristics with the patient. Ethical concerns about the quality and significance of PPP choices could influence legal decision makers' views of the PPP.

Keywords: advance directives; decisional incapacity; end-of-life decisions; treatment decision making.

Publication types

  • Comment

MeSH terms

  • Decision Making*
  • Humans
  • Mental Competency*
  • Patient Preference*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*