The Precautionary Principle and Medical Decision Making
Resnik, David B.
Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 2004 June; 29(3): 281-299
The precautionary principle is a useful strategy for decision- making when physicians and patients lack evidence relating to the potential outcomes associated with various choices. According to a version of the principle defended here, one should take reasonable measures to avoid threats that are serious and plausible. The reasonableness of a response to a threat depends on several factors, including benefit vs. harm, realism, proportionality, and consistency. Since a concept of reasonableness plays an essential role in applying the precautionary principle, this principle gives physicians and patients a decision-making strategy that encourages the careful weighing and balancing of different values that one finds in humanistic approaches to clinical reasoning. Properly understood, the principle presents a worthwhile alternative to approaches to clinical reasoning that apply expected utility theory to decision problems.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
The Ethics of Sham Surgery on Research Subjects With Cognitive Impairments That Affect Decision-Making Capacity Resnik, David B; Miller, Frank (2010-09)Populations recruited to participate in sham surgery clinical trials sometimes include patients with cognitive impairments that affect decision-making capacity. In this commentary we examine arguments for and against ...