Mateusz Radomyski - Medical Oaths: When Religion and Ethics Collide
VU University Amsterdam
February 2, 2011
Amsterdam Law Forum, Vol. 3, No. 1, 2011
The main aim of this paper is to analyse the relationship between different medical oaths, particularly the certain moral standard attached to them, and the concept of patient's autonomy with regard to refusal of medical treatment on the grounds of religious beliefs. This topic appears particularly important nowadays, in the light of criticism by medical ethicists of the paternalistic model of doctor-patient relationship and the desired autonomous approach to patients. In the first section of this paper, medical oaths of prime importance, their history and functions are presented. Furthermore, arguments supporting and opposing the ethical professional standard which they promote are discussed. The second section discusses the principle of patient's consent to medical treatment. In the third section, the problem of patients who refuse medical treatment on the basis of religious grounds is examined. Lastly, the paper discusses practical moral problems that physicians may face when a patient refuses medical treatment.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 13
Keywords: radomyski, medical oaths, religion, ethics
Date posted: February 17, 2011