Doctor, what would you do? An ANSWER for patients requesting advice about value-laden decisions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


This article presents a previously published framework, summarized in the mnemonic ANSWER (A, Active listening; N, Needs assessment; S, Selfawareness/ reflection; W, Whose perspective?; E, Elicit values; R, Respond) for how to respond to the question, "Doctor, what would you do?" when considering medical decisions that are preference-sensitive, meaning there is limited or debatable evidence to guide clinical recommendations, or are value-laden, such that the "right" decision may differ based on the context or values of a given individual. Using the mnemonic and practical examples, we attempt to make the framework for an ethically appropriate approach to these conversations more accessible for clinicians. Rather than a decision rule, this mnemonic represents a set of points to consider when physicians are considering an ethically acceptable response that fosters trust and rapport. We apply this approach to a case of periviable counseling, among the more emotionally challenging and value-laden antenatal decisions faced by providers and patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)740-745
Number of pages6
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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