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Was the doctor's decision ethical? Why?

Debate and discussion of any biological questions not pertaining to a particular topic.

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Was the doctor's decision ethical? Why?

Postby Mae314 » Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:08 pm

An atheist doctor claims God is acting through him so that he can convince a pregnant patient to accept a medical treatment. If he had not said this, she would have refused because of her religious beliefs.

What decision would you have made as the doctor assuming that you are not a believer in patient's faith? Why?

Note: Answers may be included in an educational project.

Let's assume that all parties are mentally sound and that the treatment is effective.
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Postby ChesneMD » Wed Nov 30, 2011 9:04 pm

I disagree with such a coercion/persuasion, but it was effective and potentially saved either her baby's or her life.

I am fine with doctors manipulating or other minor lies, and according to some this is minor, but it'd be wrong IMHO even if a religious person, of the same faith, said it to the same woman.

As to whether it is ethical or not... Sigh. I would do anything I could as a doctor if it would save my patient's life or their child's (if pregnant women, also understanding both lives must be saved unless 100% unavoidable). But no, it is not ethical to me, to use something like that.

This is all subjective, though. I, however, would've appealed to her logical senses, and if that didn't work, manipulate the facts themselves to be more appealing, not flat-out lie.
I am a biologist, biological anthropologist, physicist, theoretical physicist, astrophysicist, astrobiologist... I am a scientist. Dammit, Jim, stop pestering Dr. McCoy!
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Postby Cat » Thu Dec 01, 2011 6:30 pm

There is a penchant to talk about ethics as if it was something with a permanent value. It is NOT. Everything depends on circumstances and our perceptions and interpretations of right and wrong of any situation. When what we believe to be ethical interferes with our survival due to circumstance change, our ethical values must change or we would die. The most vivid example of this is condoning cannibalism in the interest of survival (ex. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uruguayan_ ... Flight_571).
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