Why we should stop using animal-derived products on patients without their consent

Journal article


Rodger, D. (2021). Why we should stop using animal-derived products on patients without their consent. Journal of Medical Ethics. https://doi.org/10.1136/medethics-2021-107371
AuthorsRodger, D.
Abstract

Medicines and medical devices containing animal-derived ingredients are frequently used on patients without their informed consent, despite a significant proportion of patients wanting to know if an animal-derived product is going to be used in their care. Here, I outline three arguments for why this practice is wrong. Firstly, I argue that using animal-derived medical products on patients without their informed consent undermines respect for their autonomy. Secondly, it risks causing non-trivial psychological harm. Thirdly, it is morally inconsistent to respect patients' dietary preferences and then use animal-derived medicines or medical devices on them without their informed consent. I then address several anticipated objections and conclude that the continued failure to address this issue is an ethical blind spot that warrants applying the principles of respect for autonomy and informed consent consistently.

KeywordsVeganism; Consent; Vaccination; COVID-19; Healthcare; Medicine; Surgery; Religion; Autonomy; Harm
Year2021
JournalJournal of Medical Ethics
PublisherBMJ Publishing Group
ISSN0306-6800
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1136/medethics-2021-107371
Publication process dates
Accepted15 May 2021
Deposited17 May 2021
Accepted author manuscript
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Open
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