Polarities in Clinical Thinking and Practice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This analysis of a case of a bereaved patient that poses two treatment options-watchful waiting or medication-focuses on five "polarities" in clinical practice: (1) the normal and the pathological, (2) the individual and the diagnostic collective, (3) the primary care physician and the consultant, (4) the expert and nonexpert, and (5) the moment and the process. These polarities can accentuate ethical problems posed by this case, for example, by creating stark contrasts that mask the complex contexts of care and characteristics of patients. These stark contrasts can create false dilemmas that may obscure simpler, shared decision-making solutions. Alternatives to conceiving cases in terms of polarities are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-146
Number of pages6
JournalAMA journal of ethics
Volume19
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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