David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 10 (1):85-103 (1985)
Little has been written recently about the obligations of lay people in professional relationships. Yet the Code of Medical Ethics adopted by the American Medical Association in 1847 included an extensive statement on ‘Obligations of patients to their physicians’. After critically examining the philosophical foundations of this statement, I provide an alternative account of lay obligations in professional relationships. Based on a hypothetical social contract and included in a full specification of professional as well as lay obligations, this account requires lay people to honor commitments and disclose relevant information. Ethically, the account assumes that all parties in lay-professional relationships should be given equal consideration and respect in determining rights and obligations. Factually, it assumes that the treatment of many illnesses and injuries requires collaboration and cooperation among lay persons and health professionals, that medical resources and personnel are limited, and that medicine, nursing, and related health professions, are, in MacIntyre's sense, practices. Keywords: patient-physician relationship, moral responsibility of patients, health professionals' duties, contract theory and lay-health professional relationship, health professions as "practices", commitments, truth-telling CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this?
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