0
Medical Ethics |

A Brief Historical and Theoretical Perspective on Patient Autonomy and Medical Decision Making: Part I: The Beneficence Model

Jonathan F. Will, JD
Author and Funding Information

From the Bioethics and Health Law Center, Mississippi College School of Law, Jackson, MS.

Correspondence to: Jonathan F. Will, JD, MA, Bioethics and Health Law Center, Mississippi College School of Law, 151 E Griffith St, Jackson, MS 39201; e-mail: will@mc.edu


For editorial comment see page 488

Editor's note: This essay addresses the first topic in the Law and Medicine curriculum of the ongoing “Medical Ethics” series. To view all articles from the core curriculum, visit http://chestjournal.chestpubs.org/cgi/collection/medethics.

Constantine A. Manthous, MD, FCCP, Section, Editor, Medical Ethics

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians (http://www.chestpubs.org/site/misc/reprints.xhtml).


© 2011 American College of Chest Physicians


Chest. 2011;139(3):669-673. doi:10.1378/chest.10-2532
Text Size: A A A
Published online

As part of a larger series addressing the intersection of law and medicine, this essay is the first of two introductory pieces. This article explores the nature of the physician-patient relationship and of the practice of medicine dating from the Hippocratic tradition to the end of the 19th century, a period during which a beneficence-based medical ethic remained relatively stable. The medical literature dating from the Hippocratic texts to the early codes of the American Medical Association did not include a meaningful role for the patient in the decision-making process. In fact, the practice of benevolent deception—the deliberate withholding of any information thought by the physician to be detrimental to the patient’s prognosis—was encouraged. However, as philosophers identified an inherent value in respecting patient self-determination and the law imposed a duty on physicians to obtain informed consent, 2,400 years of relative stability under the beneficence model gave way to the autonomy model.


Sign In to Access Full Content

MEMBER & INDIVIDUAL SUBSCRIBER

Want Access?

NEW TO CHEST?

Become a CHEST member and receive a FREE subscription as a benefit of membership.

Individuals can purchase this article on ScienceDirect.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal or buy individual articles.

Learn more about membership or Purchase a Full Subscription.

INSTITUTIONAL ACCESS

Institutional access is now available through ScienceDirect and can be purchased at myelsevier.com.

Sign In to Access Full Content

MEMBER & INDIVIDUAL SUBSCRIBER

Want Access?

NEW TO CHEST?

Become a CHEST member and receive a FREE subscription as a benefit of membership.

Individuals can purchase this article on ScienceDirect.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal or buy individual articles.

Learn more about membership or Purchase a Full Subscription.

INSTITUTIONAL ACCESS

Institutional access is now available through ScienceDirect and can be purchased at myelsevier.com.

Figures

Tables

References

NOTE:
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Sign In to Access Full Content

MEMBER & INDIVIDUAL SUBSCRIBER

Want Access?

NEW TO CHEST?

Become a CHEST member and receive a FREE subscription as a benefit of membership.

Individuals can purchase this article on ScienceDirect.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal or buy individual articles.

Learn more about membership or Purchase a Full Subscription.

INSTITUTIONAL ACCESS

Institutional access is now available through ScienceDirect and can be purchased at myelsevier.com.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

Find Similar Articles
CHEST Journal Articles
PubMed Articles
  • CHEST Journal
    Print ISSN: 0012-3692
    Online ISSN: 1931-3543