Taking Off the White Coat: Can Family Members Who Are Physicians Be Good Surrogate Decision-Makers?
Article first published online: 28 MAY 2002
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society
Volume 50, Issue 5, pages 946–948, May 2002
How to Cite
Issa, A. M. (2002), Taking Off the White Coat: Can Family Members Who Are Physicians Be Good Surrogate Decision-Makers?. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 50: 946–948. doi: 10.1046/j.1532-5415.2002.50224.x
- Issue published online: 28 MAY 2002
- Article first published online: 28 MAY 2002
- Surrogate decision-makers;
- physicians as double agents;
The challenges inherent in physicians treating members of their own families are well known. However, the issues related to physicians acting as surrogate decision-makers on behalf of relatives have not been addressed. The growing number of older persons will increase the need not only for healthcare resources, but also for physicians to act on behalf of incapacitated family members as surrogate decision-makers. In this paper, some of the clinical and ethical tensions evoked by physicians serving as surrogate decision-makers for family members are explored. Some recommendations for managing these tensions are suggested.