Polarity Within Beneficence: Additional Thoughts on Nonaggressive Obstetric Management
Abrams, Fredrick R.
JAMA. 1989 Jun 16; 261(23): 3454-3455.
The author comments on the argument, for nonaggressive obstetric management of third trimester pregnancies with virtually untreatable anomalies, developed in the same journal issue by Frank Chervenak and Laurence McCullough, who base their argument on the ethical principles of autonomy and beneficence. While he views the argument for nonaggressive treatment from autonomy as less subject to internal contradiction, he stresses that beneficence can be used to argue for either aggressive or nonaggressive treatment based on varying values. The difficulty with Chervenak and McCullough's position arises because they identify nonaggressive treatment as beneficent and thereby imply that mothers who choose aggressive treatment violate that principle. Abrams argues that such a choice may rather indicate a different interpretation of beneficence so that only active intervention is morally acceptable. (KIE abstract)
Allowing to Die; Autonomy; Beneficence; Biomedical Technologies; Congenital Disorders; Consent; Decision Making; Disclosure; Disease; Ethical Analysis; Fetuses; Iatrogenic Disease; Informed Consent; Life; Moral Policy; Mothers; Newborns; Obstetrics and Gynecology; Parents; Patient Care; Pregnant Women; Prognosis; Quality of Life; Risks and Benefits; Selection for Treatment; Standards; Statistics; Suffering; Treatment Refusal; Value of Life; Values; Withholding Treatment;
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