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date: 24 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Even the best moral principles for patient care and psychiatric ethics are likely to be misapplied or stumble in clinical practice, without sound and sensible recognition of how to understand the concepts of a patient’s personal identity and self-responsible or reflective agency. In this chapter I sketch an account of how personal identity and self-responsible agentive capacity are best described for understanding mental illness and in clinical practice. The account aims to be true to the subjective experience of reflective personhood and self-responsible agency as well as to the perspective of the mental health care clinician. Special attention is given to certain background moral principles that help to clinically frame the importance of patient identity and agency.

Keywords: Agency, personal identity, reflection, self-responsibility

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