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.
- Ethics- Medical
- Philosophy- Medical
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Contributors DH is responsible for all aspects of the article.
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; externally peer reviewed.