QUESTIONS OF COMPETENCE
The duty to inform and the limits to choice
DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL AND DECISION SCIENCES, DEPARTMENT OF ENGINEERING AND PUBLIC POLICY, CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY
Many public policies embody assumptions about some individuals’ competence to make some class of decisions. When that competence is underestimated, those individuals can be needlessly denied freedom of choice. When that competence is overestimated, those individuals can be denied needed protections. Questions of competence arise in policies as diverse as whether to make prescription drugs available over the counter, whether to declare martial law in an emergency, and whether to adjudicate adolescents as ...