Summary Of Should Doctors Tell The Truth By Joseph Collins

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In “Should Doctors Tell the Truth,” Joseph Collins presents an argument for why in some cases a physician lying to a patient is a justifiable action, as lying in some cases serves to benefit the patient’s health. Though a physician may certainly be justified in lying to a patient in some cases, Collins’ presentations of justifiable examples of lying do not demonstrate a dedication to achieve or to understand the patient’s best interest. Rather, Collins advocates for a model of the doctor-patient relationship that does not extend consideration to the patient’s autonomy nor to the patient’s expectation of privacy in order to form a paternalistic strategy of treating patients. Moreover, Collins’ position is not normative as it operates on knowledge that cannot be attained preemptively and relies on moral luck for its justification. Collins supports his argument for the moral permissibility of lying to patients by describing an interaction with his friend on a golf course. The friend had shared with Collins details of various pains that …show more content…

Collins is, in fact, seeking to undermine the preferences of a fully cognizant adult with a perfectly proper ability to understand his state. While the golfer may not have been fully aware of the gravity of his situation, Collins’ role as a physician is not to paternalistically herd the golfer into his own specific treatment path, but to demonstrate to the patient the seriousness of the situation and to allow the him the ability to choose, as the repercussions of the medical decision more greatly impact the golfer than Collins. By acting as such, Collins is not attempting to act in or to seek out the best interest of the patient, but to unilaterally engage in social manipulation to modify the golfer’s decision in accordance with his own

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