Ethical problems in respiratory care: the role of the law

Branthwaite, M. A.
January 2001
Thorax;Jan2001, Vol. 56 Issue 1, p78
Academic Journal
journal article
It is customary to identify four ethical principles as the basis for good medical practice. These are beneficence, non-maleficence, respect for autonomy, and justice, primarily distributive justice. The challenge for the practising clinician is to determine a proper course of action when these principles conflict. Decisions taken in good faith are now often subject to public comment or criticism, and the National Health Service and other legislation add further constraints by introducing new rights or guidelines without necessarily identifying the resources to fulfil these obligations.


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