Advertisement

Lying in Medicine

  • Barbara MaierEmail author
  • Warren A. Shibles†
Chapter
Part of the International Library of Ethics, Law, and the New Medicine book series (LIME, volume 47)

Abstract

A theory of lying is presented. A lie is to believe one thing and to express another. The liar must be aware that the belief and statement are different. On this new definition: A lie is not the same as making a false statement. A lie is not the same as not telling the objective truth. A lie in itself is neither good nor bad, but just a contradiction between belief and statement. There are consequences of lying: We gain faulty information on which to base decisions. We fail to understand what or how the liar really thinks and feels which is especially important in medicine. Communication is undermined as well as relationships, which are based on communication. Trust is undermined. Lying promotes more lying and encourages others to lie. A lie (or truth) may benefit all in the short run, but not in the long run, or vice versa. We may not realize or be able to know in advance the harmful consequences that even the smallest lie may have.

Keywords

Definitions of lying new theory of lying self-lie consequences of lying justifiable lies logic of flattery beneficial lying mental reservation hypocrisy truth 

References

  1. 1.
    See Shibles, W. 1985. Lying: A critical analysis. Whitewater, WI: Language Press; Shibles, W. 1988. A revision of the definition of lying as an untruth told with intent to deceive. Argumentation 2:95–113 (Lying book reviewed in Revue Philosophique March 1987:123; Revue de Metaphysique et de Morale (Paris) vol. 2 1987. American Rationalist 1986. 30:103 Also see forms of lying in Shibles, W. 2002. Shibles eBook on humor at http://facstaff.uww.edu/shiblesw/ or search: Shibles humor.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Shibles, W. 2002. Lügen und Lügen lassen: Eine kritische Analyse des Lügens. Maier, B. tr, Mainz: Lermann Verlag.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bok, S. 1978. Lying. Moral choice in public and private life, 228–229. New York: Pantheon; 1989/1999 Vintage books, New York; Random House; Bok, S. 1983. On the ethics of concealment and revelation, esp. ch III, 5 Secrecy and self-deception. Vintage Books: New York.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Fainzanz, S. 2002. Lying, secrecy and power within the doctor-patient relationship. Anthropology and Medicine 9:117–133; esp.119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Nietzsche, F. 1977. A Nietzsche Reader. Hollingdale, R.J. tr. New York: Penguin; Thus Spoke Zarathustra I. 17: “The Way of the Creator.” 90.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Nietzsche, F. 1977. A Nietzsche Reader, Antichrist 55. Hollingdale RJ tr. New York: Penguin; Nietzsche, F. 1960. “On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense.” 3 vols, Schlechta, K. ed, München.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Carson T, Wokutch, R., and Murrman, K. 1982. Bluffing in labor relations: Legal and ethical issues. Journal of Business Ethics 1:13–22; esp.20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Carson T, Wokutch, R., and Murrman, K. 1982. Bluffing in labor relations: Legal and ethical issues. Journal of Business Ethics 1:13–22; esp.13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Higgs, R. 1994. Truth-telling, lying and the doctor-patient relationship. In Principles of health care ethics. eds. Gillon, R., and Lloyd, A., 499–509; esp.502 New York: John Wiley.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Nuyen, A. 1999. Lying and deceiving: Moral choice in public and private life. International Journal of Applied Philosophy 13:69–79 esp. 78.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Nuyen, A. 1999. Lying and deceiving: Moral choice in public and private life. International Journal of Applied Philosophy 13:69–79 esp. 76.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Fainzanz, S. 2002. Lying, secrecy and power within the doctor-patient relationship. Anthropology and Medicine 9:117–133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Henry, L. 2005. Disclosure of medical errors: Ethical considerations for the development of a facility policy and organizational culture change. Policy, Politics and Nursing Practice 6:127–134 esp.130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Beauchamp, T., and Childress, J. 1994. Principles of biomedical ethics, 4th edn. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Henry, L. 2005. Disclosure of medical errors: Ethical considerations for the development of a facility policy and organizational culture change. Policy, Politics and Nursing Practice 6:127–34 esp.131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Bok, S. 1978. Lying. Moral choice in public and private life, 37. New York: Pantheon; 1989/1999. Vintage books. New York: Random House.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Shakespeare, W. 1964. Shakespeare’s Sormets. Sormet 138. Ed. Rowse A. L. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Frankl, V. 1946. Man’s search for meaning. London: Rider; Frankl, V. 1959. From death camp to existentialism: A psychiatrist`s path to a new therapy. Lasch, I. tr, Boston: Beacon Press.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Hazlitt, W. 1931. On the fear of death. Essays. ed. Gray, C., 302–313 New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Shakespeare, W. 2006. Hamlet i.5.107. Edn Thompson, A., and Taylor N. London: Alden Shakespeare.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    cf. Shibles, W. 1992. Altruism versus egoism: A pseudo-problem: A cognitive-emotive analysis. International Journal of Applied Philosophy 7:21–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Dewey, J., and Tufts, J. 1908/1932. Ethics. New York: Holt.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Gynecology and ObstetricsParacelsus Medical University SALKSalzburgAustria
  2. 2.University of Wisconsin–WhitewaterWhitewaterUSA

Personalised recommendations