Ethics in anorexia nervosa: Autonomy, beneficence or responsibility?

Departamento de Psiquiatría, Universidad de Valparaíso, Chile.
Revista medica de Chile (Impact Factor: 0.3). 06/2008; 136(5):659-65.
Source: PubMed


In patients with anorexia nervosa, ethical dilemmas will appear in case of difficult and serious medical situations. Although the principle of beneficence could be used to argue for the use of coercive medical therapies, the respect for autonomy must take precedence. The latter is a central principle of bioethics. However, the interactions between autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice become quite complex when these patients need to be treated. Difficulties must be overcome and a balance between these considerations must be reached. This paper gives an account of ethical values relevant to moral assessment in anorexia nervosa: conviction, responsibility and care.

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