The Impact of Physician Denial Upon Patient Autonomy and Well- Being
Journal of Medical Ethics. 1992 Sep; 18(3): 135-137.
It is now widely accepted that a patient's ability to engage in autonomous decision-making can be seriously threatened when she denies significant aspects of her medical condition. In this paper I use a true case to reveal the harmful effects of physician denial upon patient autonomy and well-being. I suggest further that such physician denial may be more common than is generally acknowledged, since aspects of the contemporary medical ethos likely serve to reinforce rather than to undercut such denial.
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