An individual’s right to refuse medical treatment, as may be supported by the principle of autonomy, is trumped by ethical and legal obligations that identifies a physician’s duty of care besides the need to maximize a patient’s wellbeing. This should be the case because a patient may exercise the right to refuse treatment out of uninformed opinion and attitude, unlike physicians’ informed opinion (White, 2005; Cowart, 2002).
Even though Dax was an adult with a contractual capacity, the medical personnel were under both legal and moral obligation to ensure provision of healthcare. The personnel’s decision to treat Dax against his will was justified by deontological and teleological theories that promote benefit maximization. The doctrine of autonomy, however, justified Dax’s decision to forego the treatment (White, 2005; Cowart, ...Show more