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Reviving Ulysses contracts. Kennedy Inst Ethics J 2003 Dec;13(4):373-92 PMID: 15049305

Pubmed ID



Ulysses contracts have faced paternalism objections since they first were proposed. Since the contracts are designed to override a present request from a legally competent patient in favor of a past request made by that patient, enforcement of these contracts was argued to be unjustifiable strong paternalism. Recent legal developments and new theories of practical reasoning suggest that the discussion of Ulysses contracts should be revived. This paper argues that with a proper understanding of the future-directed planning embodied in Ulysses contracts, the charge of strong paternalism can be answered, and the enforcement of some Ulysses contracts may be justified under the rubric of weak paternalism.

Author List

Spellecy R


Ryan Spellecy PhD Professor in the Institute for Health and Equity department at Medical College of Wisconsin


2-s2.0-0842286027   27 Citations

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Advance Directive Adherence
Advance Directives
Bipolar Disorder
Commitment of Mentally Ill
Government Regulation
Mental Competency
Mentally Ill Persons
Models, Theoretical
Schizophrenia, Paranoid
State Government
jenkins-FCD Prod-310 bff9d975ec7f2d302586822146c2801dd4449aad