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Ethik Med. 2006 Mar;18(1):81-91.

["Medicine of desire" between commercialization and patient-centeredness].

[Article in German]

Author information

1
Fakultat fur das Studium fundamentale, Private Universitat, Witten-Herdecke, Germany. kettner@uni-wh.de

Abstract

DEFINITION OF THE PROBLEM:

Ample evidence points to an emerging new self-understanding within medical practice, away from the established goals of medicine towards greater responsiveness to individual preferences.

ARGUMENTS:

The altered self-understanding of medical practice unfettered by indications grounded in concepts of disease can be conceptually characterized as desire-driven medicine, or "medicine of desire." This raises the question of morally justifiable limits for the normative governance of a medicine of desire.

CONCLUSION:

In liberal societies, only two forms of argumentation seem promising for setting limits to the provision and consumption of what a medicine of desire has to offer: Arguments that place expected benefit into the perspective of risks, and arguments that probe the coherence of desires and their fulfillment against the background of a person's conception of a good life for that person.

PMID:
17153254
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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