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The ethics of surrogate decision making in medicine : autonomy, paternalism, or a different approach?

journal contribution
posted on 2009-01-01, 00:00 authored by Sharyn Milnes
Knowing who to involve in treatment decisions when a patient is incapacitated has been the subject of discussion in bioethical, health law and clinical research. The major issues tend to revolve around the tension between exercising a degree of medical paternalism and respecting patient autonomy. Patients are encouraged to exert their autonomy even when they may not be capable of doing so, by means of surrogate consent or advanced directives. While liberal concepts of autonomy are exemplified in western bioethics and legal systems, clinically these decisions remain difficult, and input from medical professionals is sought, raising the issue of paternalism. A framework of bioethics, which places the patient in a relational context rather than a strictly autonomous one, may be a more helpful way of deliberating these difficult decisions

History

Journal

Australian Anaesthesia

Pagination

151 - 153

Publisher

Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists

Location

Melbourne, Vic.

ISSN

1032-2515

Language

eng

Publication classification

C3.1 Non-refereed articles in a professional journal

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