This study discusses how paternalism in ethics should be estimated legally by main issues, summary of decision, and reasoning of the Supreme Court Decision. This Decision delivers that the duty to protect a patient's life is prior to the duty to respect a patient's rights of self-determination.
According to the autonomy principle, patients have the right to determine whether they allow the medical professionals to treat their disease or not and the medical professionals must follow the patients' decision. But the concept of paternalism restricts the autonomy principle.
However, I assert that the medical professional is not liable for the patient's death when he or she rejects medical treatments(gastrolavage) strongly making a disturbance as this case. We should examine how serious the patient's rejection of medical treatments was and how difficult the medical professional's paternalistic intervention was. Although medical law is different from medical ethics, paternalism in medical area can be expected legally as far as a medical professional can overcome a patient's continuous and strong rejection.
So, this study reviews the relation between medical professional and patient, and lays stress on the limitation of paternalism in medical area.