How to Regulate the Right to Self-Medicate

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In Pharmaceutical Freedom Professor Flanigan argues we ought to grant people self-medication rights for the same reasons we respect people's right to give (or refuse to give) informed consent to treatment. Despite being the most comprehensive argument in favour of self-medication written to date, Flanigan's Pharmaceutical Freedom leaves a number of questions unanswered, making it unclear how the safe-guards Flanigan incorporates to protect people from harming themselves would work in practice. In this paper, I extend Professor Flanigan's account by discussing a hypothetical case to illustrate how these safe-guards could work together to protect people from harms caused by their own ignorance or incompetence.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHEC Forum
Early online date3 Jun 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Jun 2020


  • Competence
  • Harm reduction
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Regulation
  • Selfmedication


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