Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Shared decision making

Shared decision making needs a care perspective

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 06 November 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e7419
  1. Gert Olthuis, research fellow1,
  2. Carlo Leget, professor of ethics of care2,
  3. Mieke Grypdonck, professor emeritus, nursing sciences3
  1. 1Tilburg University, PO Box 90153, 5000 LE, Tilburg, Netherlands
  2. 2University of Humanistic Studies, Utrecht, Netherlands
  3. 3Ghent University, Belgium
  1. g.j.olthuis{at}

Shared decision making is increasingly the norm. Stiggelbout and colleagues claim that it is an ethical imperative,1 and characterise it as a complex intervention, in which patients and clinicians make decisions together, as partners, using the best available evidence.

Studies of the experiences of health professionals as patients show that it is not the decisions themselves but the …

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