Open Access

Semantic, Logical, and Ethical Considerations of Patients’ Decisions in the Resolution of Moral Dilemmas


Decision-making procedures in medical practice are often analysed by both philosophers of science and ethicists, as well as statisticians, clinicians and methodologists. The paper focuses on decisions made by patients in situations of moral dilemma. The main purpose is to analyse the strategies used in resolving such dilemmas. First, the concept of a ‘situation of moral dilemma’ is clarified. Then, two types of strategies for resolving such situations are distinguished. The first strategy requires revising the patient’s belief system or moral orientation. The second one includes a group of non-revision beliefs strategies (NRB). The authors argue in support of the thesis that NRB strategies are, in fact, the patient’s first choice when it comes to resolving moral dilemmas. The paper analyses situations where the NRB strategies may prove effective, as well as situations where they fail and where the solution of the moral dilemma must be addressed by revising the accepted belief system. The findings will help to better understand patients’ decision-making processes.

Publication timeframe:
4 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Philosophy, other