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By Benjamin Freedman

Responsibility and therapeutic positions moral concerns as a rule encountered in medical occasions inside Jewish legislations. It seems on the function of the family members, the query of expert consent and the tasks of caretakers.

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Extra resources for Duty and Healing: Foundations of a Jewish Bioethic (Reflective Bioethics)

Example text

In this way the case of Dr. G and Mrs. ) Hospital treatment is not provided by “the doctor,” but rather by a slew of persons: senior physicians responsible for coordinating care, consultants, medical students and residents in various stages of training, nurses, therapists of various kinds, ward clerks, orderlies—this list is far from complete. Quite often, the patient is a moveable feast for whole regions of the hospital, transferred from emergency to surgery to infectious disease to geriatrics.

Nor was he refusing to act in compliance with her rights; had that been so, he never would have requested the consultation. A conflict of rights presupposes two persons assertively demanding that their contrary desires be respected. There was none of that here, either. Dr. G did not speak the language of power, of authority, of rights as trumps—or as clubs. He was, rather, hesitant, uncertain, ambivalent, and conflicted. He did not need someone to tell him what the rights of the patient demand of him.

Other than a course of antibiotics, which she was just about to complete, no active treatment is indicated or intended. She is alert. She knows that she has an infection; her family refuses to inform her that she has cancer. The precipitating cause of the ethical consultation, requested by the newly assigned treating physician (Dr. H), is his ethical discomfort with treating Mrs. A in this manner. As clinical ethicist, I met with Dr. H and the involved members of the patient’s family (husband, daughter, son).

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