Moral Dilemmas in Surgical Training: Intent and the Case for Ethical Ambiguity
Newton, Michael J.
Journal of Medical Ethics. 1986 Dec; 12(4): 207-209.
The dilemma of how inexperienced trainees are ethically to acquire professional skills when patients are owed the best available care is examined, using for illustration the training of surgical residents in ophthalmology. Newton maintains that, given the irreducible nature of this dilemma, each trainee and instructor must take personal responsibility for his or her action. Reliance on external ethical guidelines, be they codes of ethics or philosophical theories, may initially seem helpful but will ultimately interfere with the individual's development of a sense of ethical intent, which entails a painful self-awareness of the inherent dilemma. (KIE abstract)
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