Where are the borders of the acceptable lawyer’s paternalism?

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Long title: 
Where are the borders of the acceptable lawyer’s paternalism? A client’s informed consent in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Milinkovic, Igor
Author(s)' contact information: 
Faculty of Law, University of Banjaluka, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Conference title: 
International Legal Ethics Conference VI
Conference location: 
City University London
Bosnia & Herzegovina

The principle of the patient’s informed consent, which requires a patient’s fully-informed consent prior to the medical treatment, is closely connected with the value of human dignity. To deny a patient the possibility of making rational and appropriate choices about his health means to deprive him of his personal autonomy, i.e. his basic dignity. Similar could be said for the attorney-client relations. However, as the providers of legal help lawyers are often confronted with unrealistic, subjective and even dangerous clients’ expectations. Is it morally acceptable for an attorney to avoid client’s wishes, even if these wishes may seriously undermine client’s chances for successful result? In the first part of the paper the ethical importance of the client’s informed consent doctrine will be explained. Then, the valid legal regulations in Bosnia and Herzegovina (its component units: Republic Srpska and the Federation Bosnia and Herzegovina) will be analyzed, as well as some controversies regarding their realization.

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