By Elliot Cohen
Do sufferers have the proper to understand their physician's HIV prestige? Can a dentist refuse therapy to an HIV-positive sufferer? How do educators make sure even if to permit an HIV-positive baby to wait tuition, and in the event that they do, should still the fogeys of different young children be told? should still a counselor holiday confidentiality via disclosing to a spouse that her husband is contaminated with HIV? This choice of unique essays conscientiously examines the tricky ethical offerings the AIDS pandemic has awarded for plenty of pros physicians, nurses, dentists, academics and faculty directors, company managers, psychotherapists, legal professionals, clergy, reporters, and politicians. within the office, difficulties posed by means of HIV and AIDS have resulted in a reexamination of conventional codes of ethics. supplying systematic and reasoned discussions, the authors discover the ethical, criminal, and moral matters inquisitive about the reconsideration of guidelines, criteria of behavior, and the practicality of balancing own ethics. Elliot D. Cohen is Professor of Philosophy at Indian River neighborhood collage and Editor-in-Chief of the "International magazine of utilized Philosophy". Michael Davis is Senior examine affiliate on the middle for the examine of Ethics in Professions, Illinois Institute of know-how.
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Additional info for Aids: Crisis in Professional Ethics
68 In effect, this would mean extending the duty of informed consent beyond its usual limits of informing patients of the risks and benefits of a medical procedure, to include disclosure of personal factors unrelated to the nature of the procedure itself. While it may seem desirable to do this, expanding the concept of informed consent to include disclosure of a physician's HIV status prompts th(~ question: Why stop here? Does the patient's right to know also require that physicians disclose facts related to their emotional stability, stress management abilities, their drinking habits, drug use, grades in Inedical school, or whether they had a good night's sleep?
Having given up euphemism, the media still often fail to present the information they have in a useful way. For example, journalists from Ann Landers to George Will seem to have trouble explaining the relative risk of various sorts of conduct (in part perhaps because they do not themselves understand relative risk very well). Pritchard's criticism is, however, mixed with examples of (relative) success and advice on how to do better. Having devoted most of his chapter to the journalist's failure to inform adequately, Pritchard considers the danger of disclosing too much.
As a means of answering these questions, three salient ethical considerations need to be addressed. Among the most important considerations is the need to protect the patient's health and safety, especially from preventable harms such as a physician-inducedl HIV infection. In addition, we cannot ignore concerns of justice and the presumptions of liberty that are equally relevant when considering restrictions on competent physicians' rights to practice. Finally, the social consequences of any proposed policy should satisfy the principle of utility so as to maximize the greatest good over evil for the greatest number.