Bioethics 35 (1):3-5 (2021)

Authors
Jonathan Lewis
University of Manchester
Udo Schüklenk
Queen's University
Abstract
The late Robert Veatch, one of the United States’ founders of bioethics, never tired of reminding us that the paradigm-shifting contribution that bioethics made to patient care was to liberate patients out of the hands of doctors, who were traditionally seen to know best, even when they decidedly did not know best. It seems to us that with the advent of COVID-19, health policy has come full-circle on this. COVID-19 gave rise to a large number of purportedly “ethical” guidance documents aiming to assist health care providers and practitioners with responding to the ethical challenges that might arise in their response to the pandemic. Ethics has two primary functions: provide clear action guidance, and provide clear action justification. The documents in question arguably reflect the ultimate policy triumph of bioethical “principlism”, and, perhaps surprisingly, as a corollary, the ultimate triumph of “doctor-knows-best”.
Keywords COVID-19  COVID19  Coronavirus  Principlism  Health Policy  Ethics Guidelines  Paternalism  Ethical Guidance  Doctor Knows Best
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DOI 10.1111/bioe.12840
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What is Clinical Effectiveness?Richard Ashcroft - 2002 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 33 (2):219-233.

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