Document Detail

Advanced Clinical Medicine Requires Advanced Clinical Ethics.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21791934     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Many advances have occurred in clinical medicine in the last decades. Solid organ transplants, corrective surgery for congenital malformations, improved cytostatic regimes for children with cancer, and respiratory care for premature infants are but a few examples of the changing face of medical practice. Such changes have added years to life. But along the way many patients have paid a price, both in terms of loss of life and of added suffering. Even today, some survivors are faced with a life of impairment and suffering. Follow-up studies of extremely low-birth-weight infants show that the smallest infants have a high rate of severe sequelae. Some argue that such suffering should be sufficient reason to make us desist from further attempts to advance the frontiers of therapy. This paper seeks to reflect on the character of advanced medicine and on how we relate to patients and their kin in our quest for further improvements in therapy. The price for continued advances will inevitably be paid by some patients who will not profit from them. Therefore, patients who are asked to participate in such a quest must receive honest and transparent information, including a discussion about where and how they would draw the limits. Clinical competency is a core concept in advanced medicine, but a caring comportment also demands that our relationship to the patient be characterized by honesty, integrity, and decency. In dialogue with parents, finding the right balance between parental exercise of autonomy and safe-guarding the best interest of the child remains a challenge.
Thor Willy Ruud Hansen
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2011-7-26
Journal Detail:
Title:  Neonatology     Volume:  101     ISSN:  1661-7819     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2011 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-7-27     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101286577     Medline TA:  Neonatology     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  8-12     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Department of Neonatology, Women's and Children's Division and Clinical Ethics Committee, Oslo University Hospital HC - Rikshospitalet, Oslo, Norway.
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