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“Please Don’t Tell Me”

The Right Not to Know

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 December 2011

Extract

Knowledge is generally a good thing. People who know lots of bits of information are generally admired. Some of them win prizes in TV competitions. If you were offered the gift of having an entire encyclopedia wired into your brain, you would probably accept, without thinking. But we should be wary of assuming that all knowledge is good. Too much knowledge can inhibit rather than enable thought.

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Special Section: Open Forum
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2011

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References

1. Chadwick, R, Levitt, M, Shickle, D, eds. The Right to Know and the Right Not to Know. Aldershot: Avebury; 1997Google Scholar; Andorno, R. The right not to know: An autonomy based approach. Journal of Medical Ethics 2004;30:435–9.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed

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3. See Foster, C.Autonomy should chair, not rule. The Lancet 2010;375(9712)Google Scholar:368–9 For further examples.

4. See note 3, Foster 2010.

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5. See note 1, Andorno 2004.

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29. E.g., Asscher, E, Koops, B-J.Genetic diagnosis for Huntington’s disease: The right not to know and pre-implantation genetic testing. Journal of Medical Ethics 2010;36:30–3.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed

30. See note 14, Suter 2004.

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31. Gilbar, R.Communicating genetic information in the family: The familial relationship as the forgotten factor. Journal of Medical Ethics 2007;33:390–3.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed

32. See note 31, Gilbar 2007:393.

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33. General Medical Council. Confidentiality. London: General Medical Council; 2009.Google Scholar

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