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ThinkMind // International Journal On Advances in Life Sciences, volume 8, numbers 1 and 2, 2016 // View article lifsci_v8_n12_2016_8


Reverse Paternalism in Medical and Clinical Engineering Practice

Authors:
Sarah Hammoud
Ali Hage-Diab
Hassan Khachfe
Bassam Hussein

Keywords: professionalism; medical ethics; engineering ethics; medicine; paternalism; reverse paternalism.

Abstract:
Professions are governed by ethical frameworks of moral standards each within its own professional boundaries. So often boundaries intersect and present ethical challenges that should be dealt with from the point of view of more than one professional ethical standard; such as in the case of engineering and medicine. As the medical profession depends more and more on medical equipment for treatment and diagnosis, medical decisions present ethical dilemmas to the clinical engineer responsible for the purchase and maintenance of medical equipment. One of these challenges is related to paternalism, which is the act of interfering with a person’s autonomy by making decisions for them claiming that it is “for their own good”. This problem is universal, but more prevalent in countries where education and awareness are limited. In Lebanon for example, ethical challenges are widely spread in the field of medicine, though they are not being discussed in the literature. Throughout time, paternalism has found its way to turn into a new form, termed and defined for as reverse paternalism. Reverse paternalism refers to the act of sacrificing one’s autonomy and self-determination and giving another person or group the right for making decisions on their behalf. Some people, as moral agents, are giving up their autonomy and rights for making decisions to medical practitioners because “they know better”. The main focus of this paper is therefore on reverse paternalism that will be investigated as an ethical dilemma. What exactly is Reverse Paternalism? What might be possible causations that led to its emergence? Are there regulations that restrict such kind of paternalism? Are medical practitioners to blame in such cases? And to what extent is there auditing over what happens in hospitals, private clinics, medical centers and institutions? We focus on Lebanon and try to compare it to other countries. Our aim is to shed light on this ethical dilemma and highlight how serious and wide spread it has become, by providing statistical data we have collected.

Pages: 87 to 102

Copyright: Copyright (c) to authors, 2016. Used with permission.

Publication date: June 30, 2016

Published in: journal

ISSN: 1942-2660

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