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Paternalism Essay

  • Submitted by: Prairiewolf92
  • on October 19, 2013
  • Category: Miscellaneous
  • Length: 2,862 words

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Below is an essay on "Paternalism" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Paternalism and Autonomy
Paternalism and Autonomy are two major concepts that play a crucial role in medical practices today. Paternalism is defined as the interference of a state or individual with another person against their preferences for their own good. In contrast, Autonomy is an individual’s right or capacity to self-determination. Such concepts may clash in the medical context regarding a patient-physician relationship. Overall, the physician has the duty to help the patient, utilizing his/her medical expertise and experience to reach a positive outcome, while the patient has a right to benefit from his/her knowledge, as well as   make autonomous choices for themselves based on their values. Unfortunately in some medical situations, this relationship can cause a vast array of ethical issues based on differing beliefs and perceptions of good. So the inevitable question arises: Who has the true right to determine what medical practices will or will not take place? Some people believe that patients are the only ones justified in choosing their fate regarding treatment; no one knows better about their desires and values in life than themselves. Others argue that physicians, with their expertise and seemingly unending knowledge, are in the best position to make a choice that will benefit a client. Although there are many convincing arguments for both sides, I feel that paternalism and physician intervention are a necessity. Because physicians have a strong awareness and knowledge regarding many different situations (due to their education and skills) they are in a good position to make a healthful and beneficial plan of action. However, to meet the need for patient contribution, the physician must be sufficiently aware of a patient’s own chosen structure of values and preferences (as long as they are rational) so a decision can be made that will best suite their desires and long term goals.
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"Paternalism". Anti Essays. 10 Dec. 2018


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Paternalism. Anti Essays. Retrieved December 10, 2018, from the World Wide Web: http://parimatch-stavka7.com/free-essays/Paternalism-529401.html

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