[...] we do not tell the truth if by doing so we would damage values which we place higher than veracity. The fiduciary relationship required that the patients' trust be rewarded with truthful information.61 Patients were entitled to knowing the truth not so much because it concerned their own bodies, but because it concerned their own lives.62 Not doctors, but patients and the courts should determine the extent of information patients received.63 Dying persons needed to know the truth in order to settle family and money matters.64 Informing the patient of his imminent death would induce him to renounce expensive treatments, thereby limiting the costs of health care and helping the national economy65 There have been, and still are, strong arguments in favor of the traditional way of giving information, though it follows the principle of beneficence rather than autonomy Informing patients is part of medical practice and is, therefore, subject to the rule of doing no harm. The device is supposed to simplify our task: the electrodes pick up the patient's ECG, and if the tracing seen on the screen shows the deadly ventricular fibrillation, we deliver the electric shock that restores a normal heart rhythm through the same two electrodes.
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