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Author Rajtar, Malgorzata
Source World Health Organization (WHO)-Global Index Medicus
Content type Text
Publisher Elsevier
File Format HTM / HTML
Language English
Difficulty Level Medium
Subject Domain (in DDC) Philosophy & psychology ♦ Psychology ♦ Natural sciences & mathematics ♦ Life sciences; biology ♦ Natural history of organisms ♦ Technology ♦ Medicine & health ♦ Incidence & prevention of disease ♦ Pharmacology and therapeutics ♦ Diseases ♦ Agriculture & related technologies
Subject Domain (in MeSH) Eukaryota ♦ Organisms ♦ Therapeutics ♦ Analytical, Diagnostic and Therapeutic Techniques and Equipment ♦ Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms ♦ Psychological Phenomena and Processes ♦ Psychiatry and Psychology ♦ Natural Science Disciplines ♦ Physical Sciences ♦ Technology, Industry, and Agriculture ♦ Technology and Food and Beverages ♦ Humanities ♦ Humanities ♦ Persons ♦ Persons ♦ Geographic Locations ♦ Geographic Locations
Subject Keyword Discipline Medicine ♦ Blood Transfusion ♦ Ethics, Medical ♦ Jehovah's Witnesses ♦ Psychology ♦ Religion And Medicine ♦ Treatment Refusal ♦ Adult ♦ Attitude Of Health Personnel ♦ Conflict (psychology) ♦ Female ♦ Germany ♦ Humans ♦ Male ♦ Personal Autonomy ♦ Physicians ♦ Qualitative Research ♦ Tape Recording ♦ Journal Article ♦ Research Support, Non-u.s. Gov't
Abstract The refusal of medical treatment is a recurrent topic in bioethical debates and Jehovah's Witnesses often constitute an exemplary case in this regard. The refusal of a potentially life-saving blood transfusion is a controversial choice that challenges the basic medical principle of acting in patients' best interests and often leads physicians to adopt paternalistic attitudes toward patients who refuse transfusion. However, neither existing bioethical nor historical and social sciences scholarship sufficiently addresses experiences of rank-and-file Witnesses in their dealings with the health care system. This article draws on results of a nine-month (2010, 2011-2012) ethnographic research on the relationship between religious, legal, ethical, and emotional issues emerging from the refusal of blood transfusions by Jehovah's Witnesses in Germany (mainly in Berlin). It shows how bioethical challenges are solved in practice by some German physicians and what they perceive to be the main goal of biomedicine: promoting the health or broadly understood well-being of patients. I argue that two different understandings of the concept of autonomy are at work here: autonomy based on reason and autonomy based on choice. The first is privileged by German physicians in line with a Kantian philosophical tradition and constitutional law; the second, paradoxically, is utilized by Jehovah's Witnesses in their version of the Anglo-Saxon Millian approach.
Spatial Coverage Germany
Description Author Affiliation: Rajtar M ( Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Freie Universität Berlin, Landoltweg 9-11, 14195 Berlin, Germany)
ISSN 02779536
Educational Role Student ♦ Teacher
Age Range above 22 year
Educational Use Reading ♦ Research ♦ Self Learning
Interactivity Type Expositive
Education Level UG and PG
Learning Resource Type Article
Publisher Date 2013-12-01
Publisher Place Great Britain (UK)
e-ISSN 18735347
Journal Social Science & Medicine
Volume Number 98


Source: WHO-Global Index Medicus