Just Allocation and Team Loyalty: A New Virtue Ethic for Emergency Medicine
Journal of Medical Ethics 2005 October; 31(10): 567-570
When traditional virtue ethics is applied to clinical medicine, it often claims as its goal the good of the individual patient, and focuses on the dyadic relationship between one physician and one patient. An alternative model of virtue ethics, more appropriate to the practice of emergency medicine, will be outlined by this paper. This alternative model is based on the assumption that the appropriate goal of the practice of emergency medicine is a team approach to the medical wellbeing of individual patients, constrained by the wellbeing of the patient population served by a particular emergency department. By defining boundaries and using the key virtues of justice and team loyalty, this model fits emergency practice well and gives care givers the conceptual clarity to apply this model to various conflicts both within the department and with those outside the department.
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