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Critical Thinking Essay

1590 words - 7 pages

Critical thinking about “Health case for letting doctors judge teen’s best interests”

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Dr Dominic Wilkinson, who is a pediatrician and bioethicist, is from University of Oxford, which published an article at The Age regarding issue about “doctors judge teens’ best interests on healthy issues”. Dr Wilkinson provided few examples about whether we should respect teenagers and adolescents medical decisions against their best interest. He also provided few steps to help parents if their children making improperly medical decisions that would threaten their best interest. In the following ...view middle of the document...

From Dr Wilkinson’s opinion, for children’s, their ability to weigh up the pros and cons of medical decisions is still developing and incompetence. For their parents, they still focus on their long-term well being in mind and their mature decisions will toward to children’s best interest. For instance, 13-year-old Hannah Jones refused a heart transplant, which will die in the next six months. If she accepted, she will at least have at least several years’ life. On the other hand, “the doctors are supposed to try best to maximize patients’ interest and minimizing the harms” (Wilkinson, 2008). Based on this occasion, parents should be involved in this medical decision for their child long-term wellbeing and they also need to learn to respect their children’s decisions if it is right. Therefore, combining paternalism, doctors’ knowledge and the child choice will make a better medical decisions for patient best interest.

Sub arguments
Furthermore, considering Dr Wilkinson’s article, there are other sub arguments. At first, in order to be more supportive in the Hannah’s case, he provided a statement about half of British adults can live more than ten years after their surgery of heart transplanting, which is a fact for most of patient that need heart transplant. Secondly, it is about doctors’ jobs to maximize benefits for patients. Besides the clinical responsibility for doctor and patient, doctor can also have responsibility to provide a second opinion for patents, which have complex situation. As specialty knowledge and skills, doctors can depend on patients’ situation to provide more useful opinions for them by considering their best interest. Therefore, doctors should not allow younger patients to make wrong decisions that will potentially threaten their well-beings. Moreover, it is about paternalism in the society and effect best interests for patients. In Wilkinson’s article, he mentioned that children’s decision making ability still developing, therefore, parents will take major effect for children’s best interest, such as avoiding junk food, taking medicine and going to the dentist (Wilkinson, 2008). At last, there is an evidence show the plastic surgery for teenagers in US, including liposuction, breast enlargements and tummy tucks. But he cannot approve that surgery will improve body image for adolescent health.

After analyzing the major and sub arguments about Dr Wilkinson’s article, there have good features and fallacies by using ARG evaluation. From the good side, the premises are acceptable and relevance. From the bad side, based on the sub arguments, unacceptable premises and some of points could be strengthened to support his main argument.

Acceptability of premises
In the article of Dr Wilkinson’s, it is a readable article and gives lots to think about. If teenager patient can make medical decisions more considerable and best interests for them, their parents and doctors should respect the decisions. On the...

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