Chapter 6: Rights, Truth and Consent

Section 4. Readings : Berkich Irrational Patient

Outline by  Don Berkich,  University of Texas, Corpus Christi (by permission)

The Irrational Patient Argument:







1

Telling the truth to a patient may cause the patient to become irrational and engage in self-destructive behavior.



2

If telling the truth to a patient may cause the patient to become irrational and engage in self-destructive behavior, then it is morally permissible for physicians to not tell the truth.


Therefore

3

It is morally permissible for physicians to not tell the truth.

1&2



The Placebo Argument:







1

Placebos necessarily involve deception.



2

Placebos are among the most powerful agents in medicine.



3

If [1 and 2] then it is in the best interests of the patient to not be told the truth.



4

If it is in the best interests of the patient to not be told the truth then it is morally permissible for physicians to not tell the truth.


Therefore

5

If [1 and 2] then it is morally permissible for physicians to not tell the truth.

3&4

Therefore

6

It is morally permissible for physicians to not tell the truth.

1,2 &5

Proceed to the READINGS section of the chapter by clicking here> section.

Copyright Philip A. Pecorino 2002. All Rights reserved.

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