Margaret A.WinkerMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor
In Reply.—What is the ethically appropriate
role for the patient, physician, or the judiciary in end-of-life decisions?
There is no correct answer, but Dr Farrell inappropriately elevates the physician's
role and undervalues the patient's role. The physician certainly has a duty
to treat patients beneficently. If paternalism means that a physician should
provide the patient with honest advice about treatment and care to promote
health, well-being, and comfort, then I favor paternalism. If paternalism
means substituting the physician's view for that of the patient, it fails
to respect the patient as a person who is capable of rational thought and
Gostin LO. Deciding Life and Death in the Courtroom: Debate and Clarification—Reply. JAMA. 1998;279(16):1259–1261. doi:https://doi.org/10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-279-16-jac80007
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