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Recent papers in BMJ Support and Palliative Care concerning advance care plans (ACP) offer empirical evidence that helps us to understand how ACP are, and should be, applied.1 2 They are welcome and timely as critics often argue that palliative medicine sometimes values opinion over evidence.
However, even in medicine, some things do not need evidence as proof: indeed, their value may be clear despite the evidence. ACP is an example, properly done, it captures a unique narrative. Rationality and professionalism are the justification: personhood, respect for autonomy, confidentiality, consent are all inherent to healthcare.
The importance of ACP as a person’s narrative (and not just a quick reference for decision-making) is to protect them from being ‘done to’—the Liverpool Care …
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.
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