Leonard Fleck and Marcia Angell each offer answers (and arguments to support these answers) to the main question posed: “Would Carlos’s physician be morally justified in breaching confidentiality on the grounds that he had a ‘duty to warn’?”
Now that you’ve had some time to ruminate over the medical and moral challenges of this case, and to critically reflect on the commentaries from Fleck and Angell, which of them do you think gives the better answer, and why? (And if you find yourself dissatisfied with both of them, you can say that too…)
In her short article, Sarah Breier-Mackie identifies several differences she sees between the main priorities of nursing ethics and the main priorities of physician-centered ethics.
What do you think — does the way Breier-Mackie writes about nurses, nursing ethics, and nurses’ relationships to their patients resonate with you? (If you yourself have experience as a nursing (or a CNA, or another position in healthcare) this would be a great place to draw on your professional experience. But even for the rest of us, we can reflect on our experiences as patients (and as parents / family members) with nurses, doctors, and other healthcare professionals.)
Why so Howard Brody and other medical ethicists take the time to discuss what counts as truly informed consent in clinical contexts? For one thing, it’s because we know that someone signing a form might legally count, but ethically, just signing a form at a doctor’s office can fall far short genuinely understanding and consenting to a procedure.
So let’s brainstorm a bit — keeping things anonymous, but grounded in real-life cases. Can you share with us a time when a patient’s consent has fallen short of constituting truly informed consent?