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Study Guide For 2nd Medical Ethics Test

Study Guide For 2nd Medical Ethics Test - Study Guide for...

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Study Guide for Second Test in Medical Ethics Autonomy Chapter: 1. Autonomy means ‘self-rule’ pg. 57. Some see a conflict between autonomy and tradition, since autonomy is about making choices for oneself. However, you could say that our traditions are part of who we are, so the question of whether someone has autonomy isn’t as simple as just asking whether they have outside influences. Everyone has influences. The question is about ‘undue’ influence and ability to achieve goals. 2. Autonomy can be positive or negative, just like rights and liberties pg. 64 (know the difference). Also, autonomy is a right, not a duty. (61) That means patients have the right to make choices, but that doesn’t mean that they have to do so. They can renounce that right and let doctors/nurses/etc make choices for them. 3. In order to be autonomous, three things must be in place, and autonomy is a matter of degree pg. 59, mainly because of the third one (understanding). 4. With the exception of extreme cases (like slavery or torture) autonomy only has prima facie value pg. 65. That doesn’t lessen it’s importance, though. It’s also become more important recently, as concern for patient rights has increased. 5. Consent can be either explicit or implicit, i.e. either directly expressed or simply implied in cases where we can infer consent based on other actions (e.g. social contracts, previous agreements, etc.) pg. 65-66. It can also be tacit, meaning that sometimes we consent by NOT protesting an action that we understand. 6. Consent is related to autonomy insofar as a person who does not have autonomy cannot really consent (though he/she could still be forced into doing something). Also, like autonomy, our ability to consent varies (since consent is really just us using our autonomy to agree to things). Also, people change over time, so consenting once does not mean you consent forever. 7. Competence is a question of whether “potential subjects are capable, psychologically or legally, of adequate decision-making.” Pg. 69 8. Competence and autonomy are closely connected. If a person is competent, then we must respect their autonomy (according to the principle of autonomy), but if they are not competent, then we do not have to respect their autonomy. In fact, they may not even HAVE full autonomy if they are not competent because they lack understanding (see note 3 above) pg. 71. Unlike autonomy, one either is or is not competent…it is about drawing a line for when autonomy must be respected pg. 72 9. List of reasons for declaring someone incompetent, from most obvious to most subtle is on pg. 73 10. The sliding scale strategy (pg. 74) says that the more dangerous/risky/important a decision is, the more sure we should be that the person making the decision is competent to exercise autonomy. Trivial decision would therefore be OK to leave up to questionably competent people, but life/death decisions would not. The problem with this is that there is no evidence that life/death decisions are
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somehow harder to make than less important ones. It might be better to think
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