The ethic of informed consent : phronesis and caring
Woodhouse, Viola Nadia
The purpose of this thesis is to consider the problems associated with the concept of informed consent to treatment from the perspective of two theories: Aristotelian virtue ethics and a contemporary ethic of caring. The theory and practice of informed consent to treatment is an important issue in contemporary medical ethics. Informed consent requires a relationship between doctor and patient based on dialogue and trust. Unfortunately, this relationship is too often underminded by authoritarian practices on the part of the medical profession. I shall examine the problems that this raises by means of an analysis of the concept of phronesis in Aristotle and from the perspective of the ethic of caring developed by Nel Noddings. The presented integration of these two very different ethical theories provides a possibility for more inclusive understanding of the problem of informed consent and establishes a base for further study in this area.