In this article, we examine the inter-relationship between moral theory and the unpredictable and complex world of primary health care, where the values of patient and doctor, or groups of patients and doctors, may often clash. We introduce complexity science and its relevance to primary care; going on to explore how it can assist in understanding ethical decision making, as well as considering implications for clinical practice. Throughout the article, we showcase aspects and key concepts using examples and a case study developed from our day-to-day experience working as clinical practitioners in primary care.
- primary care
- applied and professional ethics
- clinical ethics
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.
Twitter @johnspicer3, @http://twitter.com/ahluwaliasanjiv
Contributors All authors contributed to the final manuscript.
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.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Read the full text or download the PDF:
Other content recommended for you
- How to teach moral theories in applied ethics
- Ethics needs principles—four can encompass the rest—and respect for autonomy should be “first among equals”
- Knowing-how to care
- The transformation of (bio)ethics expertise in a world of ethical pluralism
- In defence of Kant’s moral prohibition on suicide solely to avoid suffering
- Respect for autonomy: deciding what is good for oneself
- The virtues (and vices) of the four principles
- The bioethical principles and Confucius’ moral philosophy
- Defending the four principles approach as a good basis for good medical practice and therefore for good medical ethics
- Solidarity, sustainability and medical ethics