Journal Article

The Precautionary Principle and Medical Decision Making

David B. Resnik

in The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy: A Forum for Bioethics and Philosophy of Medicine

Published on behalf of The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy Inc.

Volume 29, issue 3, pages 281-299
Published in print January 2004 | ISSN: 0360-5310
Published online January 2004 | e-ISSN: 1744-5019 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03605310490500509
The Precautionary Principle and Medical Decision Making

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Philosophy
  • Medical Ethics
  • Bioethics
  • Public Policy

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

The precautionary principle is a useful strategy for decision-making when physicians and patients lack evidence relating to the potential outcomes associated with various choices. According to a version of the principle defended here, one should take reasonable measures to avoid threats that are serious and plausible. The reasonableness of a response to a threat depends on several factors, including benefit vs. harm, realism, proportionality, and consistency. Since a concept of reasonableness plays an essential role in applying the precautionary principle, this principle gives physicians and patients a decision-making strategy that encourages the careful weighing and balancing of different values that one finds in humanistic approaches to clinical reasoning. Properly understood, the principle presents a worthwhile alternative to approaches to clinical reasoning that apply expected utility theory to decision problems.

Keywords: cancer screening tests; evidence-based medicine; expected utility theory; medical decision-making; precautionary principle; probability

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Medical Ethics ; Bioethics ; Public Policy

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content. subscribe or login to access all content.