`Watching' Medicine: Do Bioethicists Respect Patients' Privacy?
Author: Ainslie, D.C.
Source: Theoretical Medicine, Volume 21, Number 6, December 2000 , pp. 537-552(16)
Abstract:Agich has identified `watching' – the formal or informal observation of the medical setting – as one of the four main roles of the clinical bioethicist. By an analysis of a case study involving a bioethics student who engaged in watching at an HIV/AIDS clinic as part of his training, I raise questions about the ethical justification of watching. I argue that the invasion of privacy that watching entails makes the activity unacceptable unless the watcher has received prior consent from the patients who are being observed. I conclude that, even though it is important for bioethics students to understand the complexities of actual medical practice, watching should play a prominent role in bioethics education only if the privacy problems in it can be resolved.
Document Type: Regular Paper
Affiliations: Department of Philosophy, University of Toronto, 215 Huron St., 9th Floor, Toronto, ON, Canada M5S 1A1 E-mail: email@example.com
Publication date: December 1, 2000