Why Doctors Should Intervene

Date:  2021-03-24 13:21:41
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Ackerman's position about the importance of respecting patient autonomy dictates essentiality of no interference by the physician as not being the excellent line of action. I agree with him that respecting patients autonomy does not require a doctor not interfering with how the patient makes decisions. He thinks that this process gives way to the vulnerability of the patient to harm due to the effects of irresponsible behavior. Respecting the autonomy of a patient according to Ackerman (2012) does not necessarily mean that a doctor is not supposed to interfere with the decision-making process of the patient. He explains that non-interference will not succeed in the accounting for the consequences of disease as they makeover.

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The inadequacy of skills and the necessary knowledge makes a self-assessment for a given patient impossible. Depression, fear and other health issues related to mental abilities may lead to one's negative response to treatment measures. The idea of patient autonomy should not be considered when a patient puts their health life at risk. Interference has to apply when a patient refuses to adopt treatment due to a mental issue. Patients under self-denial, fear of any kind, depression, and its effects should have to be taken care of by principles against patient autonomy. The idea of patient autonomy to some extent and physician non-interference should have limits for proper control of the situation.

Many factors may arise when practicing the dictated terms of patient autonomy (Dickenson, 2012). At times moral issues arise and end up in conflict with the interests of one's family. If a patient wants something that is not to the best interest to what the family, doctors may have to intervene since an immediate action is necessary. Here, the doctor involved has to break the code of patient autonomy and make a decision that will be beneficial to both parties. This is a clear indication that patient autonomy, despite being supported by many, should have some limits to enable the safety coexistence of both the patients and the family.

Despite giving a useful, practical and utilitarian justification, Ackerman also had his part of the argument as Contractarian. Part of his theory to justify doctor interference during patient autonomy for the right of the patient depends on hypothetical social uncertainty. Trying to explain his support for physician intervention during patient autonomy, Ackerman seems to believe that we could have control over our bodies. He thinks a doctor has the job to give patients control over their bodies (Ackerman, 2012). He ends up with a somehow wrong assumption that illness is not real and that an ill body separates human from reality. The belief that a doctor could make one control their body over sickness is contrary to the actual reality. On the contrary, I would disagree with Ackermans assumptions that illness is not part of the real human experience. The idea shows that illness separates human experience from the reality. In order to make this statement true, the ill body has to be distinct from the person. This is quite impossible since the body is the base of all human experiences.

Both humans and reality have a lot in common and can, therefore, under no circumstances separated. The way people perceive the world around them and make perceptions makes everything a reality. This makes it clear that one can neither avoid existence without the other nor be separate from one another. The body enables humans to interact with the world around them and know the reality. The view that illness is not a part of the reality is factually disputable. Each and every human at some point gets sick. Illness is a very part of reality, and this cannot be used as a parameter to prevent patients from making their independent medical decisions.

The current society has put the health of every individual in the hands of skilled professionals and physicians. The idea that the doctor is not able to often have the total consideration and experience of the patient makes it difficult for them to perform their duty to the most favorable levels. In the effort to help the patients much with the patient sufficiency of oneself, they should be given options to freely select alternatives from what is recommended by a physician (Vaughn, 2011). They should be able to choose what the like for consumption, entertainment and so many more considerations from a package of options that are approved for their safety. This is the best way to practice the ideas of patient autonomy while at the same time maintaining the safety of the patient.

Patients are given a chance to exercise their right to have their own say on medical issues by the doctor noninterference part of the patient autonomy (Entwistle et al., 2011). Sometimes the patients do not make the best decisions that would be deemed as reasonable by the physician. In some other cases, the patients' decisions may affect their own health if not the entire family at large. Despite the exercise of this right to make their own medical decisions, patients have to consider the repercussions of their decisions on how they affect their health and well-being. This makes Ackerman's conclusion for the interference of patient autonomy by the physician necessary.


Ackerman, T. F. (2012). Why Doctors Should Intervene. The Hastings Center Report, 12(4), 14. doi:10.2307/3560762

Dickenson, D. (2012). Bioethics. London: Hodder Education.

Entwistle, V., Carter, S., Cribb, Alan, McCaffery, & Kirsten. (2011). Supporting patient autonomy: The Importance of clinician-patient relationships. Springer-Verlag.

Vaughn, L. (2011). Bioethics: Principles, issues, and cases. New York: Oxford University Press.

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