Non-Patient Decision-Making in Medicine: The Eclipse of Altruism
Battin, Margaret P.
Journal of Medicine and Philosophy. 1985 Feb; 10(l): 19-44.
Lay decision making on behalf of patients or research subjects--be it by family members, legal guardians, the courts, ethics committees, or other entities--shares with decision making by health professionals the drawback that it interferes with altruistic choice on the part of the patient or subject. This is unfortunate, not only because altruism has the capacity to provide important social goods and to correct distributional injustices, but also for intrinsic reasons. It is argued that preserving the possibility of altruism obliges patients and potential patients to make decisions about dying and other medical matters in advance, thus avoiding the displacement of decision making onto lay and professional second parties. (KIE abstract)
Allowing to Die; Altruism; Autonomy; Beneficence; Consent; Decision Making; Ethics; Ethics Committees; Family Members; Government; Government Regulation; Guardians; Health; Health Personnel; Human Experimentation; Legal Guardians; Medicine; Moral Obligations; Motivation; Organ Donation; Paternalism; Patient Care; Patient Participation; Patients; Prisoners; Regulation; Research; Research Subjects; Risks and Benefits; Social Control; Terminally Ill; Treatment Refusal; Volunteers;
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