AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Journal of Ethics Header

AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Virtual Mentor. February 2004, Volume 6, Number 02

Ethics Poll

Toward a definition of medical paternalism

The Ethics Poll is a snapshot of the opinions of interested readers.

Have you ever changed doctors because the one you were seeing appeared unwilling to listen to your questions about the proposed treatment?
Have you ever felt as though a physician did not provide enough guidance in the medical decision-making process?
Has the shift to greater patient participation in medical decision making placed more tension on the patient-physician relationship?
A physician is ethically justified in overriding the wishes of a competent patient to protect a broader range of future options than the patient's desired action would allow.
Poll results reflect the opinions of visitors to the site who voluntarily answer the poll questions. Those visitors do not represent a random sample of Virtual Mentor readers. The viewpoints expressed on this site are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the AMA.