Pregnancy, Autonomy and Paternalism
Lockwood, Gillian M.
Journal of Medical Ethics. 1999 Dec; 25(6): 537-540.
Modern medicine is increasingly aware of the significance of patient autonomy in making treatment choices. This would seem to be particularly important where the therapy requested was "voluntary" as in fertility treatment or cosmetic surgery. However, the Hippocratic doctrine "Primum non nocere", seems especially relevant where the treatment sought may have a low chance of a successful outcome or even be life-threatening. Mrs A's case demonstrates the difficulty faced by the physician who wants to maximise her patient's autonomy, but "Above all, do no harm".
Abortion; Autonomy; Birth Weight; Case Studies; Cosmetic Surgery; Counseling; Consent; Decision Making; Disclosure; Do No Harm; Embryo Transfer; Fetuses; Fertility; Harm; Hypertension; In Vitro Fertilization; Kidneys; Life; Low Birth Weight; Married Persons; Medicine; Morbidity; Mortality; Multiple Pregnancy; Newborns; Organ Transplantation; Paternalism; Physicians; Pregnant Women; Prematurity; Pregnancy; Refusal to Treat; Risk; Selection for Treatment; Surgery; Therapeutic Abortion; Transplantation; Miscarriage;
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