Do Physicians Have an Obligation to Treat Patients With AIDS?
Emanuel, Ezekiel J.
New England Journal of Medicine. 1988 Jun 23; 318(25): 1686-1690.
The author, a physician affiliated with Harvard's Program in Ethics and the Professions, analyzes the doctor's obligation to treat AIDS and HIV seropositive patients, in terms of the nature of the obligation and the factors that may serve to limit it. He maintains that the obligation to treat is derived from the concept of medicine as a profession devoted to the moral ideal of caring for the sick. Contending that obligations cannot be absolute, however, Emanuel evaluates four possibly limiting factors: excessive personal risks, minimal or questionable benefit of treatment, competing obligations to other patients, and obligations to self and family. He concludes that the balancing of these factors cannot be solely a matter of personal choice and conscience, but that it is constrained by professional and social expectations. (KIE abstract)
Aids; Caring; Communicable Diseases; Conscience; Consultation; Ethics; Family Members; Health; Health Hazards; Health Personnel; Medical Ethics; Medicine; Moral Obligations; Nature; Organizations; Patient Care; Patients; Physician's Role; Physicians; Professional Ethics; Professional Organizations; Referral and Consultation; Refusal to Treat; Risks and Benefits; Selection for Treatment; Statistics; Surgery;
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