Value-Neutral Paternalism

  • Valdar Parve
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 219)


Alongside the doctor—patient relationship, the institution—doctor or the institution—patient relationship or, accordingly, the relationship of the institution to both the doctor and the patient is becoming increasingly important in contemporary medicine, as well as in medical philosophy. Apart from such well-established institutions as “medical science” and “health care,” a number of more or less autonomous structural units have come into existence beside or inside them. “The Committee of the Ethics of Biomedical Human Research” (the bio-ethical committee) is one of those institutions. Its behavioural pattern towards other institutions, research teams, research programmes, medical scientists and medical staff, as well as towards medical and scientific establishments, patients and test subjects, simulates several aspects of the doctor-patient relationship. When making a decision, this board acts approximately in the same manner as a doctor would act when needing to perform a medical examination and carry out treatment procedures on a patient not fully capable of giving informed consent.


Test Subject Moral Awareness Good Deed Suicidal Person Design Research Project 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Valdar Parve
    • 1
  1. 1.University of TartuEstonia

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