A Doctor's First, and Last, Responsibility is to Care; Comment on 'Denial of Treatment to Obese Patients — The Wrong Policy on Personal Responsibility for Health'
International Journal of Health Policy and Management, 2013, 1(3), 239–240
2 Pages Posted: 11 Nov 2013
Date Written: November 11, 2013
The obesity epidemic raises important and complex issues for clinicians and policy-makers, such as what clinical and public health measures will be most effective and most ethically-sound. While Nir Eyal’s analysis of these issues is very helpful and while he correctly concludes that “conditioning the very aid that patients need in order to become healthier on success in becoming healthier” is wrong, further discussions of these issues must include unequivocal support for safeguarding the fundamental moral basis of the doctor-patient relationship. Regardless of any patients’ failures to demonstrate effective responsibility for their own health, each patient needs and deserves a physician whose caring is never in doubt. Policy-makers need to ensure that our health systems always make this a top priority.
Keywords: Obesity; Doctor-Patient Relationship; Caring; Moral Responsibility
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