The Fiction of Neutrality
Secundy, Marian Gray
Journal of Clinical Ethics. 1995 Spring; 6(1): 80-82.
The author's claim that bioethics consultation is shaped by a particular context, specifically one in which individual choices are influenced by societal prejudices and beliefs regarding race, religion, gender, power, and social class is assuredly one with which we agree. The observation, however, leads one to explore in greater depth just what role bioethics consultation can and ought to play in the light of such reality. The bioethics consultant, the healthcare provider, the patient, and the patient's family are all integrally involved in any ethical dilemma. Each brings to the table prejudices and beliefs. An ideal consultation explicitly acknowledges this as truth and moves forward with an attempt at objectivity within that context. A central question, of course, is whether any degree of objectivity is ever really achievable.
Aged; Autonomy; Bioethics; Case Studies; Competence; Consultation; Decision Making; Diagnosis; Ethicist's Role; Ethicists; Family Members; Females; Medicine; Minority Groups; Paternalism; Patient Compliance; Patients; Physicians; Professional Patient Relationship; Psychiatric Diagnosis; Power; Religion; Social Class; Social Dominance; Socioeconomic Factors; Sociology; Sociology of Medicine; Stigmatization; Surgery; Terminology; Treatment Refusal; Values;
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