In Part II of this article, I develop the "patient" / agent distinction from the vantage point of humanistic ethics. This is the view that the knowledge of man is the basis for establishing norms and values. In Part III, I argue that the "patient" / agent distinction correlates the the Kantian notions of heteronomy / autonomy, and disrespect for autonomy / respect for autonomy. In Part IV, I show that the "patient" / agent distinction also correlates with the standards of disclosure the courts have adopted in deciding informed consent cases. Finally, in Part V, I show how the family of notions associated with "patient," although deeply entrenched in the medical profession, fails to do justice to those values which informed consent is designed to further, and in Part VI, I give my reasons why the term should be replaced.
Joram Graf Haber, Patients, Agents, and Informed Consent, 1 J.L. & Health 43 (1985-1987)