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Hayden Brady 3/21/16Writing 2010 research paper How Religious Beliefs Affect the Perception of Medical TreatmentIn today’s world it is not ethical to have the primary goal of all medical treatments and professionals to save as many lives as possible. Viewed through the veil of certain religious beliefs, medical treatments change from life-saving operations into a lack of faith, having lived an unrighteous life or having had made a choice that God would not want them to make. These beliefs often result in deaths of children who are unable to make their own medical choices. Everything in the medical world begins with autonomy. “Authority and accountability must be shared when emotionally and rationally capable adults make medical decisions based on the advice given to them by a physician” (Bosek, M. D.). However, autonomy, the power to self- govern, takes the process of making medical decisions from a definite path to much rougher water (Schneider, C.). Some bemoan the fact that the time of medical paternalism has passed us by, as many were saved by the power to force treatments onto patients forgetting that many were also abused by medical professionals misusing that power (Schneider, C.). The only main reason medical paternalism was discarded was due to the Nazi’s treatment of the Jewish people and other prisoners of war during World War II (Orr, R.)
after which a further look into bioethics and the human rights of patients brought about well-defined international limits of what doctors can and cannot do. Even then, it wasn’t until the second half of the 20thcentury that research practices were limited by the idea of the patient having autonomy. The introduction of autonomy began with the definition: “to respect an autonomous agent is, at the minimum, to acknowledge that person’s right tohold views, to make choices, and to take actions based on personal values and beliefs” (Niebroj, L.T.). But with the induction of this definition more problems were introduced than were initially solved. For example, interactionbetween people of different religious groups is expected and accepted. Gone are days in which religions were bound to being predominantly practiced on one continent, or even smaller countries, cities or villages. Religious diversityrequires doctors to become familiar with official religious beliefs of dozens of religions which limit what can be done for them medically. Even through the past decade there have been problems introducing tribes in Nigeria to vaccination (Yahya, Maryam), and once extraneous religions or beliefs are discovered the same rights and amount of reverence has to be granted to them, so that all beliefs, not just the mainstreams ones are respected. Eventually the right to autonomy had to be limited, this line is when the vital social states take over, which is when the individual presents a danger to society.
Autonomy breaks down into two further parts; irrational and rational imprudence. The stereotypical example of rational and irrational imprudence