Pretending to care

Journal of Medical Ethics 49 (7):506-509 (2023)
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Abstract

On one hand, it is commonly accepted that clinicians should not deceive their patients, yet on the other there are many instances in which deception could be in a patient’s best interest. In this paper, I propose that this conflict is in part driven by a narrow conception of deception as contingent on belief. I argue that we cannot equate non-deceptive care solely with introducing or sustaining a patient’s true belief about their condition or treatment, because there are many instances of clinical care which are non-doxastic and non-deceptive. Inasmuch as this is true, better understanding of non-doxastic attitudes, such as hope and pretence, could improve our understanding of deception in clinical practice.

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Doug Hardman
Bournemouth University

Citations of this work

Deception, intention and clinical practice.Nicholas Colgrove - 2022 - Journal of Medical Ethics 1 (Online First):1-3.
Deception, intention and clinical practice.Nicholas Colgrove - 2023 - Journal of Medical Ethics 49 (7):510-512.
Deception in medicine: acupuncturist cases.William Simkulet - 2023 - Journal of Medical Ethics 49 (11):781-782.
Unintentional deception still deceives.Doug Hardman - 2023 - Journal of Medical Ethics 49 (7):513-514.

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