Arguments Against Medical Paternalism

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Jasmin Alfonso Clint McCullum D04 12pm CAT2, Doppelt Part A Medical paternalism is when a doctor makes decision for the patients, independent of their will, limiting their liberty to make vital choices for themselves, but doing so for the good of the ill. Alan Goldman, a critique of this philosophy, in “Medical Ethics: The Goal of Health and Right of Patients,” claims that the Hippocratic principle of “do no harm” overpowers the patient’s right to self-determination (1, Goldman, CC 2015, p. 274). Goldman argues that the ultimate flaw in medical paternalism is that it assumes that everyone values life above anything else. If that were the case, in each person’s personal life, they would make every effort to protect themselves by not engaging…show more content…
An opponent to this evaluative science is Gardiner Harris, who, in his article “US Panel Says No to Prostrate Screening for Healthy Men,” states that early screening for prostrate cancer is in no way beneficial to the patient. In fact, those who do get tested undergo surgery, and at least 5000 have died as a result, and between 1000-7000 suffered major health problems (1, Harris, CC 2015, p. 108). This affects other men in that they will choose to completely forego screening even if they have a fast-growing cancer since there is no medical evidence that earlier treatment will save them from the disease. Medical paternalism takes part in these cases in that doctors will choose to not even mention the screening test in order to avoid unnecessary worry and pain that the topic will…show more content…
38). Patients are more risk-averse than doctors since the former are the ones that will be experiencing the side effects. Thus, treatment options should be divulged to the patients and the decision should be left up to them without doctor interference through deception. Medical paternalism, in contrast to Harris’s view, is then unjustified because Wennberg claims that with massive misallocation of therapy, Americans are getting less than what they paid for, especially if they are receiving a treatment that they had no say

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