Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Tough decisions

a lot of medicine is about making tough decisions with hard consequences in the face of uncertainty. the true art of medicine, i've observed is being able to navigate forward firmly in spite of these uncertainies. medicine, in the end is a practicing science, and science is all about making informed decisions given supportive evidence, keeping in mind that these things will constantly change.

how do you convince a patient that taking medicines is essential for his health and well-being while simultaneously respecting his right of autonomy to refuse? when the duty to act and protect begins to blur with the boundaries of respecting a patient's right to choose, how does one find a reasonable resolution? beneficence, one of the defining principles of medical ethics implores healthcare providers to "do good." Implicit in this guiding principle is the duty to act in the best interest of the patient.

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