Who has the Right of Informed Consent? A Study in the View of Confucian Ethics
Keywords:知情同意, 權利主體, 患者, 患者家屬
LANGUAGE NOTE | Document text in Chinese; abstract also in English.
Informed consent has been a core principle endorsed by modern Western medical ethics. It involves patient-physician relationship as well as family relationship. It has been a focus of debates since it was introduced to the Chinese world whether informed consent is agreeable to the cultural ethos of China, and if not, whether it can be applied transculturally. This paper first discusses three principles in the policy of informed consent: 1. the principle of individual autonomy; 2. the principle of non-maleficence; and 3. the principle of effectiveness. Then the paper explores the issue informed consent within the framework of the Confucian concept of family and family values, indicating that in Confucian ethics, the idea of“ harmony in diversity” acknowledges the importance of individuality whereas the notion of reciprocal relationship emphasizes the interconnectedness of everyone in family and society at large. We should always look for a balanced point between the right of the patient and the duty of the physician, and between the interest of an individual person and the interest of the family as a unit.
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Copyright (c) 2008 International Journal of Chinese & Comparative Philosophy of Medicine
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