Annette Rid, David Wendler; Treatment Decision Making for Incapacitated Patients: Is Development and Use of a Patient Preference Predictor Feasible?. J Med Philos 2014; 39 (2): 130-152. doi: 10.1093/jmp/jhu006
It has recently been proposed to incorporate the use of a “Patient Preference Predictor” (PPP) into the process of making treatment decisions for incapacitated patients. A PPP would predict which treatment option a given incapacitated patient would most likely prefer, based on the individual’s characteristics and information on what treatment preferences are correlated with these characteristics. Including a PPP in the shared decision-making process between clinicians and surrogates has the potential to better realize important ethical goals for making treatment decisions for incapacitated patients. However, developing and implementing a PPP poses significant practical challenges. The present paper discusses these practical challenges and considers ways to address them.