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Decision-Making Strategy for Clinical-Ethical Problems in Medicine

Decision-Making Strategy for Clinical-Ethical Problems in Medicine Abstract Medical education and training should prepare physicians to make decisions, because that is what they do routinely in medical practice. When physicians determine that a diagnostic procedure is warranted, or when they recommend a particular form of treatment, or even, when they assess whether and when a patient who telephones with a medical problem should be seen in the office (or in the emergency room), physicians are making decisions. None of these decisions is easy, because medicine is, as Osler described it, a science of uncertainty and an art of probability. Nevertheless, physicians generally reach clinical decisions and feel reasonably comfortable doing so. In contrast to clinical decisions, physicians find clinical-ethical decisions of the following sort extremely difficult: Should "no-code" orders be written (for example, on a patient with irreversible senile dementia and an acute, treatable pneumonia)? Should an infant with Down's syndrome and duodenal atresia be treated with maximal http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Archives of Internal Medicine American Medical Association

Decision-Making Strategy for Clinical-Ethical Problems in Medicine

Archives of Internal Medicine , Volume 142 (12) – Nov 1, 1982

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Publisher
American Medical Association
Copyright
Copyright © 1982 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved.
ISSN
0003-9926
eISSN
1538-3679
DOI
10.1001/archinte.1982.00340250144021
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract Medical education and training should prepare physicians to make decisions, because that is what they do routinely in medical practice. When physicians determine that a diagnostic procedure is warranted, or when they recommend a particular form of treatment, or even, when they assess whether and when a patient who telephones with a medical problem should be seen in the office (or in the emergency room), physicians are making decisions. None of these decisions is easy, because medicine is, as Osler described it, a science of uncertainty and an art of probability. Nevertheless, physicians generally reach clinical decisions and feel reasonably comfortable doing so. In contrast to clinical decisions, physicians find clinical-ethical decisions of the following sort extremely difficult: Should "no-code" orders be written (for example, on a patient with irreversible senile dementia and an acute, treatable pneumonia)? Should an infant with Down's syndrome and duodenal atresia be treated with maximal

Journal

Archives of Internal MedicineAmerican Medical Association

Published: Nov 1, 1982

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