Paternalism and Medical Ethics
BMJ (British Medical Journal). 1985 Jun 29; 290(6486): 1971-1972.
In one of a series of articles on philosophical medical ethics, Gillon considers various moral arguments in support of medical paternalism. He maintains that the utilitarian principle of maximizing happiness by improving health, minimizing suffering, and prolonging life is not promoted by granting physicians the authority to deceive patients or to make decisions for them in areas of moral and subjective choice. If one wants to do good for a patient, one generally needs to find out what the patient wants one to do. Gillon concludes that many utilitarians agree with deontologists that respect for autonomy is required if human welfare really is to be maximized. (KIE abstract)
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