Jake Greenblum and Ryan K Hubbard argue that physicians, nurses, clinical ethicists and ethics committee members should not cite religious considerations when helping patients (or their proxies) make medical decisions.i They provide two arguments for this position: The Public Reason Argument and the Fiduciary Argument. In this essay, I show that the Public Reason Argument fails. Greenblum and Hubbard may provide good reason to think that physicians should not invoke their own religious commitments as reasons for a particular medical decision. But they fail to show that it is wrong for physicians to cite the patient’s own religious commitments as reasons for a particular decision. As such, if Greenblum and Hubbard’s thesis is to survive, the Fiduciary Argument (or some unmentioned argument) will have to do the bulk of the work.
- religious ethics
- patient perspective
- clinical ethics
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Contributors NC is the sole author of this essay.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.
Patient consent for publication Not required.