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Why Doctors Should Intervene by Terrence F. Ackerman

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Tiffany Mann

on 23 September 2014

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Transcript of Why Doctors Should Intervene by Terrence F. Ackerman

Why Doctors Should Intervene
Ackerman's Argument
Autonomy refers to a person's rational capacity for self-governance or self determination (
, 2013).

A patient who falls ill is not at their rational capacity and thus illness does impede the patient's autonomy.

Noninterference of the doctor fails to take into account the transforming effects of illness.

Therefore, noninterference of the doctor does not respect patient autonomy.

Ackerman argues in favor of sometimes overriding patient’s treatment-related preferences,
Weaknesses of Argument
My Position
I agree to an extent with Ackerman's logic.
As an aspiring Child Life Specialist, my career entails assessing and nurturing the psychosocial and cognitive development of children who are ill - restoring their autonomy:

Doctors must resolve underlying constraints first.
Impediments of patient's personal autonomy include:

Consider for Discussion
Strongly biased towards doctors as being superior
Fails to consider other personnel - Nurses, Child Life Specialists, Volunteers, etc. - to assist in the assessment of patients' profiles and their needs
Looking at patients as being incompetent about their illness and treatment options always
Views the attitudes or actions of family members as inhibiting the patient's control
Not all doctors are credible
Not all doctors put the patients' priorities first
Using confidential patient information to assist in neutralizing
Individuals with drastically
diminished autonomy
Time sensitivity cases
Terrence F. Ackerman
By Tiffany Mann
Revised 1980 AMA Principles of Medical Ethics: To deal honestly with patients at all times, respect doctor-patient confidentiality, and increased emphasis on patients’ rights.
maintaining that real respect of the autonomy of patients requires physicians to first assess patients' potential constraints and provide information
based on the assessed criteria that will enable the patient to make their final decision,
which will in turn help the patient restore control over their lives.
to provide therapeutic play in preparing for medical procedures
to divert their attentions during those procedures, and to cope with the vulnerability attached to illness
to help ease or eliminate any potential stressors and anxieties inherent of their condition and the environment, and restore a sense of comfort and normalcy to their lives
My set-back to Ackerman's argument:
This duty does not rely solely on doctors
According to this model, patient’s autonomy complete noninterference of doctor in patient decision-making
Full transcript