A Piece of My Mind Section Editor: Roxanne
K. Young, Associate Editor.
Each week we gather as physicians (including a psychiatrist), fellows,
lawyers, philosophers, students, and nurses in a conference room to discuss
cases and concepts and hope we are practicing medical ethics. We try to be
guided by principles and ideas codified in books and taught in medical schools:
principles such as autonomy and beneficence, ideas such as substituted judgment,
even concrete documents such as advance directives. It is a language that
many in medicine have grown increasingly accustomed to hearing, and it's one
that is supposed to help us analyze dilemmas. But what about when the principles
leave the case unresolved? Or worse, what about when the principles leave
the case resolved and the feelings raw?
Hauser J. The Consultation. JAMA. 2001;286(22):2781-2782. doi:10.1001/jama.286.22.2781