Examples Of Paternalism In The Movie Wit

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In the opening scene of the movie Wit, the main character has just been diagnosed with stage five ovarian cancer by Doctor Kelikan. This scene portrays the deprivation of informed consent to Vivian. Informed consent is when physicians evaluate all possible options with the patient in order to determine which treatment is most suitable for them. It is accepted that every mentally stable adult has the right to decide what happens to their body, otherwise considered autonomy. Dr. Kelikan simply tells Vivian that her cancer is "insidious" and she is at the highest stage in her ovarian cancer. Vivian was simply told that the treatment offered to her was the best thing they had to offer. In informed consent, physicians should provide all different types of treatment options; regardless of which treatment they believe is best. In the diagnosis of Vivian's cancer, it is almost implied that she does not have any other treatment options available to her. Dr. Kelikian, although having a medical background, does not know what routes Vivian…show more content…
This scene displays paternalism towards the patient. Paternalism is the best interest of the person whose autonomy is being compromised. Jason does not respect Vivian's right of not wanting to be resuscitated because he only views her as 'research'. The nurse Susie protects Vivian's paternalism by calling off any act of resuscitation. The nurse displays extreme paternalism because she is preventing harm to her patient. Vivian was in severe distress and pain therefore requested to not be revived if her heart failed. This is an act of paternalism because the nurse has the patient's best interest in mind. Once her heart had failed it would against her autonomy to resuscitate her. The nurse was protecting her autonomy because of her diminished state, and therefore she was respecting the patient's
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