Patient preference is one of the essential components of ethical issues that arise in clinical medicine. This term implies that patients have the right to choose their health care interventions. It can manifest in the desire to accept medical care and how it is provided. In making these choices, patients are usually guided by their values, knowledge, experiences, and beliefs. One of the fundamental principles in delivering health care is the consideration of patient preferences, which is linked to respect for the individual and their beliefs. Respect in this context applies both to his morals and to the values of his rights regarding planning his own life and the actions he wishes to take in planning his life. In doing so, the therapist must consider what the client prefers and expects.
The patient’s preferences must be given due consideration. Creating a trusting relationship between doctor and patient is essential, which will positively affect the moment and achieve a joint decision between the health care provider and the patient. If patients begin to feel that their rights and views are not considered, they are more likely to stop trusting their doctor and not consider his recommendations. The client’s recovery depends significantly on implementing the treatment doctor’s recommendations. Many patients do not receive the treatment they need because of this distrust and unwillingness to follow the doctor’s recommendations.
In cases with a certain amount of trust between the doctor and the patient, the treatment process is more straightforward, as the patient tends to comply with all the doctor’s advice and recommendations fully. Such a relationship can be built when the physician considers the client’s preferences necessary to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment. Once the client has been made aware of the medical intervention that must be arranged for their recovery, the client will be able to give the informed consent necessary to clear up any misunderstandings between the physician and the patient. The representative of the health care system must explain in detail all the advantages and disadvantages, as well as the prospects and risks that the chosen treatment method contains. Obtaining this kind of consent can mean that the patient is willing to accept the health intervention the doctor proposes. Consequently, the client takes more responsibility for their actions concerning following the doctor’s recommendations.
Medical history is generally replete with examples of how such an agreement has not been obtained. What happens is that physicians lack the ethical and legal competence necessary to do this vital work with the client. It may be due to physician workload, rush, lack of physician communication skills, or an inability to consider the patient’s values, which sometimes conflict with the needs of the treatment process.
Physicians must always tell their patients the truth about their medical conditions. It is their responsibility to keep the patient informed about their condition and the success of their treatment. In such cases, on the one hand, it is necessary to deceive the patient to deceive the placebo, leading to a cure. On the other hand, an honest account of what is presumed to be the mode of care will prevent the physician from curing the placebo. Honesty prohibits deception, which leads to treated conditions, an alternative to placebo, and adherence to patients’ wishes in treatment and cures.
The principle of full disclosure implies that the clinician should disclose all options and modes of care relevant to the situation, even though the clinician may not agree with some of them. It is also essential that the physician disclose only medically reasonable alternatives and clearly state why they are considering alternatives that may be less desirable for the patient. The physician can make a strong argument for the more desirable options that would be most ethically appropriate, but they should also talk about the alternatives. Moreover, the patient should always be free to choose, even if that choice may not be the best option for that patient.
Of course, patients try to make the best decision, but often these decisions can turn out wrong. It raises the issue of trust in a patient’s competence, which can be reframed as the question of at what age a patient’s opinion and prior experience can be considered sufficient to make such decisions. In many states, minors can decide about treating abuse’s effects without a parent or other adult. When a minor is emancipated, they do not live with their parents and do not receive any financial or medical assistance from their parents. Also, if the minor is married or already in college, they may be emancipated.
Mature adults can make reasonable and rational decisions about their health care but still depend on their parents. After the age of 15, minors may encounter the informed consent procedure. If a patient refuses to provide their parent’s or legal guardian’s consent, the doctor will not be able to obtain that consent independently, and the treatment process may not occur. For this reason, doctors need to educate and explain to underage patients and, simultaneously, explain the fundamental necessity of the treatment.
The principle of religious freedom in clinical medicine implies that there are religious communities whose beliefs prohibit their representatives from seeking medical care. It is consistent with the patient’s right to make their health care decisions, but the issue becomes more complex in the case of children. Children also often refuse treatment because of their affiliation with such religious groups. In some states, there are religious exemptions, which means that hospitals and doctors must always be prepared to take the case to court or to child protection agencies that can assist in the future to prevent future ailments, handicaps, and other disabilities (child prevention and treatment act, 1985, “Baby do Regulations.”).