A clinical model for decision-making


Richard Martin's aim in this paper is to present a critical method of making ethical decisions in a medical context. He feels that such a reflective method provides the best means of making the appropriate decisions in given situations. It is based on Dr Martin's experience in applying ethical theory while collaborating with physicians in the daily course of clinical practice. Through his giving of a functional definition of medical ethics, his descriptions of an analytical model, the significance of values for clinical decision-making and the advocacy role of medical ethicists and their relationships with clinicians, Richard Martin sets out his own value-intention as regards an ideal decision process. He stresses that his argument is of particular importance to his fellow ethicists who should continuously and vigorously examine the creative interaction of faith and fact in their own inquiry and action. Dr Martin concludes by stating that physicians and ethicists can work together to accomplish their common aim, which is, of course, the health and well-being of the patient.

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