Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 31 (1):79-92 (2010)
Psychiatric patients may try (or express a desire) to injure themselves in hospital in order to cope with overwhelming emotional pain. Some health care practitioners and patients propose allowing a controlled amount of self-injury to occur in inpatient facilities, so as to prevent escalation of distress. Is this approach an example of professional assistance with harm? Or, is the approach more likely to minimise harm, by ensuring safer self-injury? In this article, I argue that health care practitioners who use harm-minimisation can be considered to be helping physical injury to occur, although they do not encourage the act. I consider why there are compelling reasons to believe that a patient who self-injures is not maximally autonomous in relation to that choice. However, I then move onto argue that allowing a degree of self-injury may enable engagement with psychotherapy (enhancing autonomy) and behavioural change. In these circumstances, allowing injury (with precautions) may not be harm, all things considered.
|Keywords||Assistance Ethics Harm Psychiatry Self-injury|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
References found in this work BETA
Relational Autonomy: Feminist Perspectives on Automony, Agency, and the Social Self.Catriona Mackenzie & Natalie Stoljar (eds.) - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
A Transhumanist Fault Line Around Disability: Morphological Freedom and the Obligation to Enhance.H. G. Bradshaw & R. ter Meulen - 2010 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 35 (6):670-684.
Similar books and articles
Moral Injury and Relational Harm: Analyzing Rape in Darfur.Sarah Clark Miller - 2009 - Journal of Social Philosophy 40 (4):504-523.
Persons with Adult-Onset Head Injury: A Crucial Resource for Feminist Philosophers.Kate Lindemann - 2001 - Hypatia 16 (4):105-123.
Injury Prevention as a Public Health Responsibility: The New York State Department of Health Injury Control Program.Susan J. Standfast - 1989 - Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics 17 (1):50-57.
After Harm: Medical Error and the Ethics of Forgiveness.Nancy Berlinger - 2005 - Johns Hopkins University Press.
Injury, Harm, Damage, Pain, Etc.Ramchandra Gandhi - 1973 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 34 (2):266-269.
The Moral Status of Enabling Harm.Samuel C. Rickless - 2011 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 92 (1):66-86.
Added to index2010-03-20
Total downloads77 ( #68,377 of 2,171,803 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #326,702 of 2,171,803 )
How can I increase my downloads?