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Achieving a nanny state at the hospital bedside

RE “MGH to screen all for substance abuse” (Page A1, June 30): You report that Massachusetts General Hospital will begin screening all patients for substance abuse and, “if the battery of four questions reveals a possible addiction, doctors can summon a special team to conduct a ‘bedside intervention’ and, if needed, arrange treatment.”

What about patients who don’t want treatment for their addictions? As a bioethicist, I would like to see MGH acknowledge that the right to refuse treatment is as important as the right to receive it.

Felicia Nimue Ackerman

Providence

The writer is a professor of philosophy at Brown University.

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