For the patient's good. Complex?
Back in 1988 the Pellegrino/Thomasma twosome wrote For the Patient’s Good. The Restoration of Beneficence in Health Care, and we are going to discuss the different meaning of the “good” of the patient:
-- The ultimate good (that which constitutes the patient’s ultimate standard for his/her life’s choices, that which has the highest meaning for him/her
The physician is bound to advance each of these four senses of good to the extent possible.
So let’s say the patient dying of cancer who had consistently refused resuscitation now during his/her last hours begs to be put on a respirator because of difficulty in breathing. Here is the place that people might fear their living wills or advance care plans will work against them.
But the physician may order the respirator—in order to make the patient comfortable—without negating the patient’s life plan entirely.
The “patient’s good” is a highly complex concept!!! COMMENTS????