Patient autonomy and the challenge of clinical uncertainty

Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 12 (3):245-264 (2002)

Abstract
: Bioethicists have articulated an ideal of shared decision making between physician and patient, but in doing so the role of clinical uncertainty has not been adequately confronted. In the face of uncertainty about the patient's prognosis and the best course of treatment, many physicians revert to a model of nondisclosure and nondiscussion, thus closing off opportunities for shared decision making. Empirical studies suggest that physicians find it more difficult to adhere to norms of disclosure in situations where there is substantial uncertainty. They may be concerned that acknowledging their own uncertainty will undermine patient trust and create additional confusion and anxiety for the patient. We argue, in contrast, that effective disclosure will protect patient trust in the long run and that patients can manage information about uncertainty. In situations where there is substantial uncertainty, extra vigilance is required to ensure that patients are given the tools and information they need to participate in cooperative decision making about their care
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1353/ken.2002.0018
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 47,350
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Mandatory Disclosure and Medical Paternalism.Emma C. Bullock - 2016 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 19 (2):409-424.
Fragility, Uncertainty, and Healthcare.Wendy A. Rogers & Mary J. Walker - 2016 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 37 (1):71-83.
Prognosis Terminal: Truth-Telling in the Context of End-of-Life Care.Ben A. Rich - 2014 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 23 (2):209-219.

View all 8 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
40 ( #228,267 of 2,291,080 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
10 ( #84,891 of 2,291,080 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature