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Compare and contrast the views of Meyer and Bok on the issues of medical professional lying to patients. State and explain the similarities and differences in their views - Essay Example

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Bernard Meyer writes a paper entitled, Lying and Withholding the truth which discusses the ethical aspects of physicians intentionally giving the patient false information, and whether or not it is morally acceptable to withhold specific facts from the patient on his her…
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Compare and contrast the views of Meyer and Bok on the issues of medical professional lying to patients. State and explain the similarities and differences in their views
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Compare and contrast the views of Meyer and Bok on the issues of medical professional lying to patients. and explain the similarities and differences in their views.
[Name]
Medicine
[Date]
Compare and contrast the views of Meyer and Bok on the issues of medical professional lying to patients. State and explain the similarities and differences in their views.

Bernard Meyer writes a paper entitled, Lying and Withholding the truth which discusses the ethical aspects of physicians intentionally giving the patient false information, and whether or not it is morally acceptable to withhold specific facts from the patient on his her condition (Meyer, n.d). On the other hand, Bok’s paper is written based on the conclusion that lying is acceptable under certain conditions (Bok, n.d). It mostly disagrees with Meyer’s paper and believes that the truth should be told most of the time. Meyer acknowledges the fact that the disclosure of bad news to patients is a very difficult process; hence, it is beneficial for medical practitioners to adopt a neutral mentality between always telling the truth and never telling the truth when disclosing information to the patient.
Bok however, is firm on the viewpoint that it is necessary for doctors to sometimes lie to the patient when certain conditions are met. He however does not agree with Meyer’s statement that truthfulness is impossible. She perceives it as failure to differentiate between the truth from truthfulness. Though she disagrees with this statement, in my opinion some similarities with Meyer’s viewpoint exist. Meyer believes that the truth cannot always be clearly defined hence; it cannot always be presented to the patient (Meyer, n.d). In this case Meyer provides the example of conditions that are terminal at time of disclosure, however, may have a cure in the near future. It coincides with Bok’s example of telling the patient he has at least four months to live, instead of telling him that he will die in four months. The fact that he will live for four months is verified, however, the fact that he will die isn’t.
Meyer believes that patients may ask for the truth meanwhile they do not actually want the truth and simply want to gain confidence from the good news. However, Bok believes it is an empirical fact that patients want to hear the truth about their condition and doctors have no right or justification to withhold information on the assumption that patients actually prefer it (Bok, n.d).
Bok agrees with Meyers’s view that the truth may sometimes harm the patient. Meyer refers to this as ‘therapeutic privileged’. However, Bok believes that this claim by Meyer is exaggerated and benefits from telling the truth exist and are not given sufficient attention. Bok believes that telling the patient the truth allows him or her to decide what steps to take forward in his or her treatment process. She allows withholding of information from the patient if the decision is made by more than one doctor, if a close relationship exists between the doctor and patient and if the burden of justification is placed on the doctors (Bok, n.d).
References
Bok, S. (n.d) Lies to the Sick and Dying. Retrieved from
http://www.philosophy.ucsb.edu/websites/phil7/Bok_lies.pdf
Meyer, B. (n.d) Truth and the Physician. Lying and Withholding the truth. Retrieved from
http://www.philosophy.ucsb.edu/websites/phil7/Meyer_physician_lying.pdf Read More
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