Ethical Aspects of Substance Abuse and Intervention: Reflecting on Methadone Maintenance in New Zealand
New Zealand Bioethics Journal 2001 October; 2(3): 14-22
Divergent perspectives of the nature of substance use have shaped societal attitudes and legislative action toward management of the implications of drug abuse and addiction at an individual and societal level. When it comes to substance abuse issues, policy and ethical analysis become intertwined. The current review entails an ethical evaluation of drug addiction, involving a comparison of different perspectives of substance use and an assessment of the treatment approaches and legal policies derived from these models. The aims of substance use policy directives will be ethically considered in terms of the balance of harm versus benefit, patient/client autonomy and rights and the duties or role of the health care provider in dealing with the problems of addiction.
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