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    The Principle of Beneficence vs Patient Autonomy and Rights

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    In the following three cases, indicate whether you think it would be justified to overcome the autonomy of the patient under the principle of beneficence and why.

    1. In the intensive care unit, you are working on a patient in a very unstable state. The woman and her children (who were all killed) had been in an accident. It is clear that further emotional trauma would be disastrous to the patient and may cause her death. In a lucid moment, she looks at you and asks, "How are my children?" Is this an instance when therapeutic privilege seems reasonable? Whether you decide yes or no to the therapeutic privilege question, write a sentence that you think would be the most appropriate answer for the patient. (2 to 3 Paragraphs).

    2.You are working late and you enter the patient's room to find that she has climbed out on the window ledge. She appears to be crying and tells you to leave her alone. (1 Paragraph)

    3.Your elderly patient hates to have the bed rails up and tells you to leave them down. ( 1 Paragraph)
    PLEASE Cite Work, TY

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    Solution Preview


    You have asked for an opinion-based response to three questions using the principle of beneficence and the principle of therapeutic privilege.

    Before responding to the questions, I have posted for you some definitions of the above principles.

    The Principle of Beneficence:

    Illustrative Cases
    One clear example exists in health care where the principle of beneficence is given priority over the principle of respect for patient autonomy. This example comes from Emergency Medicine. When the patient is incapacitated by the grave nature of accident or illness, we presume that the reasonable person would want to be treated aggressively, and we rush to provide beneficent intervention by stemming the bleeding, mending the broken or suturing the wounded.
    In this culture, when the physician acts from a benevolent spirit in providing beneficent treatment that in the physician's opinion is in the best interests of the patient, without consulting the patient, or by overriding the patient's wishes, it is considered to be "paternalistic." The most clear-cut case of justified paternalism is seen in the treatment of suicidal patients who are a clear and present danger to themselves. Here, the duty of beneficence requires that the physician intervene on behalf of saving the patient's life or placing the patient in a protective environment, in the belief that the patient is compromised and cannot act in his own best interest at the moment.

    This definition was taken from:
    ETHICS IN MEDICINE University of Washington School of Medicine


    The principle of beneficence guides the ethical theory to do what is good. This priority to "do good" ...

    Solution Summary

    This solution provides an opinion-based response to three questions using the principle of beneficence and the principle of therapeutic privilege.