BMC Infectious Diseases
(Accessed 11 March 2017)
Reconsidering counselling and consent (pages 4–10)
David R. Hall and Anton A. van Niekerk
Version of Record online: 1 DEC 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/dewb.12100
In the current era patient autonomy is enormously important. However, recently there has also been some movement back to ensure that trust in the doctor’s skill, knowledge and virtue is not excluded in the process. These new nuances of informed consent have been referred to by terms such as beneficent paternalism, experience-based paternalism and we would add virtuous paternalism. The purpose of this paper is to consider the history and current problematic nature of counselling and consent. Starting with the tradition founded by Hippocrates we trace and seek to understand how relevant aspects of the patient-doctor relationship have evolved under the influences of subsequent moral theories. Finally we tentatively endorse certain modes of counselling in the current era in order to promote morally sound, good clinical practice.