Aristotle's Theory Of Patient Autonomy

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Patient autonomy is the practice that patients have a right to dictate how and if they are to be treated, without their doctor’s active interference. This means that doctors have to obey the wishes of their patients, regardless of the medical consequences. Patient autonomy should only be followed when patients or their loved ones voice their decision. In cases where there is no apparent proof that the patient did not want to be treated a certain way, a doctor’s primary goal should be to save the life of the patient. This is why in Scenario B, what the physician did was ethical. In this case, the physician cannot be completely certain that the “No Blood” ID bracelet actually belongs to the patient, without a next to kin to neither confirm …show more content…
According to Aristotle, there are 4 types of practical characters. They are the virtuous, the merely incontinent, the continent and the wicked. The virtuous is the one who acts in the mean, not in excess or deficiency. They make the right judgment and do the right act without any internal struggle to do so. The merely continent goes through an internal struggle of practical reason vs. desires and emotions and the former wins. The incontinent goes through with the same struggle but instead desires and emotions win but the person does not act upon it. And lastly, the wicked has the desires and emotions and acts upon it. However a person is not completely virtuous unless he/she understands why a certain act is deemed moral or immoral and why we must or must not act upon it. Without this practical wisdom, it would only be deemed natural virtue, something that we have been taught and have taken upon due to habit. An act is deemed virtuous by following Aristotle’s Doctrine of the Mean. It states that virtue is the mean between two extremes. By virtue he was talking about a person’s character: their actions and passions, or what they do and how their actions make them feel. These feelings are divided into pain and pleasure. And by the mean between two extremes, he means that virtue is choosing things in just the right amount. This does not mean just the halfway point between two extremes, but the right amount …show more content…
In this case, it was due to a religious belief. If the physician were to disregard the parents’ wishes and continue on with the blood transfusion, this would mean that other doctors would also have rights to disregard religious beliefs if they interfere with what the doctor believes is best medically advantageous to the patient. This is because to deny one set of people certain rights while giving another set the same rights would lead to the problem of marginal humans. Here, it says that it is not moral to exclude certain people from certain rights. Rights should be accessible to everyone, even like those who are mentally challenged and regardless of young. In this situation it would mean that doctors would also be allowed to practice active euthanasia even if the patient’s loved ones believe in the idea that as long as the heart is beating, regardless of how the other functions of the body are operating, it is still better than death. The doctor can explain to the patient’s next of kin the benefits of active euthanasia or that the patient is in pain in the current state, but if the patient’s loved ones do not budge or change their minds about their belief that there is nothing worse than death, there is nothing the doctor can do, no matter how much he believes that the patient

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