Contributions of Empirical Research to Medical Ethics
Pearlman, Robert A.
Miles, Steven H.
Arnold, Robert M.
Theoretical Medicine. 1993 Sep; 14(3): 197-210.
Empirical research pertaining to cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), clinician behaviors related to do-not-resuscitate (DNR) orders and substituted judgment suggests potential contributions to medical ethics. Research quantifying the likelihood of surviving CPR points to the need for further philosophical analysis of the limitations of patient autonomy in decision making, the nature and definition of medical futility, and the relationship between futility and professional standards. Research on DNR orders has identified barriers to the goal of patient involvement in these life and death discussions. The initial data on surrogate decision making also points to the need for a reexamination of the moral basis for substituted judgment, the moral authority of proxy decision making and the second-order status of the best interests standard. These examples of empirical research suggest that an interplay between empirical research, ethical analysis and policy development may represent a new form of interdisciplinary scholarship to improve clinical medicine.
Allowing to Die; Autonomy; Bioethics; Biomedical Technologies; Clinical Ethics; Communication; Consent; Death; Decision Making; DNR Orders; Empirical Research; Ethical Analysis; Ethical Theory; Ethics; Evaluation; Evaluation Studies; Family Members; Futility; Guidelines; Hospitals; Institutional Policies; Life; Literature; Medical Ethics; Medicine; Methods; Moral Policy; Nature; Paternalism; Patient Participation; Patients; Physicians; Prognosis; Prolongation of Life; Proxy; Professional Standards; Quality of Life; Refusal to Treat; Research; Resuscitation; Resuscitation Orders; Selection for Treatment; Social Sciences; Standards; Substituted Judgment; Surrogate Decision Making; Third Party Consent; Treatment Outcome; Treatment Refusal; Uncertainty; Values; Withholding Treatment;
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