Juggling Law, Ethics, and Intuition: Practical Answers to Awkward Questions
Journal of Medical Ethics 2003 October; 29(5): 281-286
The eclectic problem solving methodology used by the British Medical Association (BMA) is described in this paper. It has grown from the daily need to respond to doctors' practical queries and incorporates reference to law, traditional professional codes, and established BMA policies-all of which must be regularly assessed against the benchmark of contemporary societal expectations. The two Jehovah's Witness scenarios are analysed, using this methodology and in both cases the four principles solution is found to concur with that of the BMA's approach. The author's overall conclusion is that although the BMA resorts to a lengthier list of things to consider, the solutions that emerge are often likely to coincide with the four principles approach.
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