Instilling Hope and Respecting Patient Autonomy: Reconciling Apparently Conflicting Duties
Bioethics 2005 June; 19(3): 215-231
In contemporary American medical practice, certain physicians are critical and wary of the current emphasis on patient autonomy in medicine, questioning whether it really serves the complex needs of severely ill patients. Physicians such as Eric Cassell and Thomas Duffy argue that the duty of beneficence should override the duty to respect autonomy when conflicts arise in clinical situations. After evaluating their claim that severe illness robs patients of their autonomy, I will argue that this perceived conflict between beneficence and autonomy is ill-conceived, resting on misperceptions about both the capacity for autonomy and the meaning of hope. Considering insights on hope from phenomenologist Gabriel Marcel and theologian William Lynch, as well as drawing upon a case study involving a bone marrow patient, I claim that respecting and nurturing patients' capacity for autonomy is a necessary condition for acting beneficently and fostering authentic hope.
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Respecting Patient Autonomy: Understanding the Impact on NHS Hospital in-Patients of Legislation and Guidance Relating to Patient Capacity and Consent Redley, Marcus; Keeley, Helen; Clare, Isabel; Hinds, Dianne; Luke, Lydia; Holland, Anthony (2011-01)to determine the extent and nature of the decisions individuals are asked to make as in-patients, and whether doctors, nurses, other health care practitioners, and housekeepers engaged in routine (non-emergency) medical ...