Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 13 (4):581-590 (2016)

Deprescribing is the term used to describe the process of withdrawal of an inappropriate medication supervised by a clinician. This article presents a discussion of how the Four Principles of biomedical ethics that may guide medical practitioners’ prescribing practices apply to deprescribing medications in older adults. The view of deprescribing as an act creates stronger moral duties than if viewed as an omission. This may explain the fear of negative outcomes which has been reported by prescribers as a barrier to deprescribing. Respecting the autonomy of older adults is complex as they may not wish to be active in the decision-making process; they may also have reduced cognitive function and family members may therefore have to step in as surrogate decision-makers. Informed consent is intended as a process of information giving and reflection, where consent can be withdrawn at any time. However, people are rarely updated on the altered risks and benefits of their long-term medications as they age. Cessation of inappropriate medication use has a large financial benefit to the individual and the community. However, the principle of justice also dictates equal rights to treatment regardless of age.
Keywords Principlism  Deprescribing  Bioethics  Medication withdrawal  Inappropriate medication use  Elderly
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11673-016-9736-y
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 55,856
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

A First Name Basis?David Benatar - 2011 - Think 10 (29):51-57.
The Ethics of Decision Making for the Critically Ill Elderly.Madelyn Anne Iris - 1995 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 4 (2):135.


Added to PP index

Total views
15 ( #643,181 of 2,401,764 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #551,897 of 2,401,764 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes