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To help sharpen reasoning skills regarding moral conflicts, the authors juxtapose two models of reasoning, one based on beneficence, the other on patient freedom. The authors argue for the value of each. In facing a potential disaster, we should sometimes override freedom, whereas sometimes unwise choices should be respected. The cases and issues considered involve defective neonates, sterilization, dying, managing information (informed consent), paternalism, and gatekeeping. The authors provide a penetrating analysis of patient competency. Also discussed are physicians' duties to third parties: parents (of infants, of sexually active adolescents), institutions (employers), students, scientists, the community, and the state.
Medical Ethics: The Moral Responsibilities of Physicians.. Ann Intern Med. 1984;101:413. doi: https://doi.org/10.7326/0003-4819-101-3-413_1
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1984;101(3):413.
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