Journal of Medical Ethics 24 (4):231-236 (1998)

Authors
Julian Savulescu
Oxford University
Abstract
Patients have a right to refuse medical treatment. But what should happen after a patient has refused recommended treatment? In many cases, patients receive alternative forms of treatment. These forms of care may be less cost-effective. Does respect for autonomy extend to providing these alternatives? How for does justice constrain autonomy? I begin by providing three arguments that such alternatives should not be offered to those who refuse treatment. I argue that the best argument which refusers can appeal to is based on the egalitarian principle of equality of outcome. However, this principle does not ultimately support a right to less cost-effective alternatives. I focus on Jehovah's Witnesses refusing blood and requesting alternative treatments. However, the point applies to many patients who refuse cost-effective medical care
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DOI 10.1136/jme.24.4.231
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Principles of Biomedical Ethics.Tom L. Beauchamp - 1979 - Oxford University Press.

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