17. Wednesday, November 17, 2010

17. Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - Autonomy and Informed...

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NOVEMBER 17, 2010 Autonomy and Informed Consent Kinds of Bioethical Questions Bioethics of everyday life : How should we makes sense of the moral questions posed by our biological nature? Justice and bioethics : What should the state allow? Prohibit? Provide? Professional ethics : How should health care professionals behave? How to explore professional ethics? First (too easy) answer: Questions in professional ethics are redundant so long as we live in a just society. A just society makes it possible for individuals to interact on their own terms, so long as each works within the legal framework. No special domain of morality for dry cleaners. Why expect one for health care? Problems? - Health care is special: we need it in a special way, different from our need for dry cleaning - Health care is a response to the vulnerabilities of our bodies - Our bodies are in some sense identical to ourselves - Much of what health care professions do looks like torture or assault or poisoning - The state is meant to protect us from these kinds of bodily threats - Bioethical questions about professional behaviour cannot be reduced to questions of justice Second (wrong) answer • Treat professional ethics like the bioethics of everyday life: Rely on informed reflection. • BUT: fact of reasonable pluralism applies here, just as in political case • An appeal to CDs leaves us vulnerable to Drs (or bioethicists) imposing their views on us Tyranny of the physicians. Taking Pluralism Seriously - instead of HCPs using their own CD to treat you, they should respect yours and allow you to live within your own CD - Answer questions in professional ethics using similar method to that developed for answering questions of justice Take FRP as a starting point Recognize our vulnerability to others’ imposing their moral judgements on us In the case of justice, the vulnerability comes from our living together in a society Society offers obvious benefits, but also opens us to exploitation by the powerful In the case of professional ethics, the vulnerability to others comes from our fragile embodiment: we are susceptible to disease, disability, death medicine offers us many benefits (cures, palliation, mechanical aids) Medicine also leaves us at risk that the powerful (i.e. the health professionals) will exploit us We must find a way to allow each of us to live by her own moral doctrine in so far as that is possible vulnerability to the powerful solved by a political conception of justice
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This note was uploaded on 11/18/2011 for the course PHL 281H1 taught by Professor Professorainslie during the Fall '10 term at University of Toronto.

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17. Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - Autonomy and Informed...

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