Wish fulfilling medicine comprises medical procedures applied without a direct medical need. In such procedures, the medical-ethical principles can come under pressure: the autonomy of the patient, when wishes originate from social pressure; beneficence when the (underlying) aim and consequences are unclear; and ‘doing no harm’, when that appears to be impossible. The principle of justice, too, could come under threat when especially those with a privileged socio-economic background can take advantage of wish fulfilling medicine. Regardless of whether it concerns wish fulfilling medicine or conventional medicine, respect for human dignity and the individual integrity of the patient continue to be paramount. In care ethics and moral ethics, the qualities necessary in a proper caregiver are emphasised, such as caring, compassion, commitment, honesty and personal dedication. Wish fulfilling medicine is the subject of significant ethical debate. Important aspects arising from this debate are that the risks of harm should be limited, human dignity and integrity should be respected, people should genuinely be helped and the principle of justice should be upheld.
|7 december 2018
|Ned Tijdschr Tandheelkd - Jaargang 125 - editie 12 - december 2018; 645-651