The ethics of the family in primary care

Michael Weingarten

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


As ever, in primary care, it is not always clear to the practitioner, and often not even to the patient, how to resolve this tension in any particular case or at any particular time. This chapter presents the components of this predicament, hoping to help the practitioner to think through the various issues at stake and to consider the various philosophical positions that the literature offers us. Firstly, it discusses what is meant by ‘the family’. Then it proposes a simple ethical framework for dilemmas in family care, and considers in some detail the rights and duties of families. There follows a discussion of family relationships and of coping styles, before returning to the patient’s rights and concluding with the family doctor’s predicament. The chapter highlights a few frequent family constellations. It proposes a set of ethical domains which together aim to preserve and promote the dignity of everyone involved, including the practitioner’s justice, compassion and humility.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Primary Care Ethics
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781498783378
ISBN (Print)9781785230905
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 by Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.


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