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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 42 (2000) 5, 319 - 326

Essay

Paternalistic beneficence by contract

F.A.M. Kortmann

The principles of paternalistic beneficence and autonomy seem to be contradictory ethic values. However this contrast is less in practice. A psychiatrist acts beneficent if he respects the autonomy of the patient. This article deals with two paternalistic exceptions: compulsory treatment and benevolent actions on the physicians' own initiative. Medicine is paternalistic in essence. Both the patient and the physician exert themselves to improve the wellbeing of the patient.

keywords autonomy, beneficence, ethic, law, psychiatry