The focus of this article is on clinical ethics issues in the thyroid disease context. Clinical ethics is a subspecialty of bioethics that deals with bedside ethical dilemmas that specifically involve the provider-patient relationship. Such issues include consent and capacity; weighing therapeutic benefits against risks and side-effects; innovative therapies; end of life care; unintended versus intentional harms to patients or patient populations; and healthcare access. This article will review core ethical principles for practice, as well as the moral and legal requirements of informed consent. It will then discuss the range of unique and universal ethical issues and considerations that present in the management of autoimmune thyroid disease and thyroid cancer.
Keywords: Adjuvant radioactive iodine therapy; Autoimmune thyroid disease; Clinical ethics; Informed consent; Radioablation; Thyroid cancer.
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