Openness with patients: A categorical imperative to correct an imbalance

Science and Engineering Ethics 3 (3):297-304 (1997)
Abstract
This paper examines the concept of ‘openness with patients’ from the stand-point of the limitations of biomedical ethics. Initially we review contemporary critiques of bioethics and, in particular, of principlism; we relate how other; somewhat neglected, forms of medical ethics can yield useful information and provide moral guidance. The main section of the paper then shows how a bioethical approach to openness misses the social context in our example, the viewpoints of patients; we present some of the increasing wealth of research evidence which points towards patients wanting more information and a greater degree of openness.
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