Support Systems for Medical Decision-Making: Considerations for Japan

Yoshihiko Iijima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Clinical issues involving ethical dilemmas arise daily and confound physicians as they provide medical care. These dilemmas require difficult decisions as physicians must respect patients' values, lifestyles, and freedom of choice while protecting life and promoting health. This is made more challenging as values and lifestyles become more diverse, making third-party support necessary to accommodate the wishes of stakeholders, particularly patients. Collaborative work is important for addressing clinical ethics issues. Government agencies and professional organisations should discuss individual cases as public policy concerns and release guidelines based on their deliberations. Medical institutions should refer to such guidelines in their own discussions on ethically challenging cases. This is not the case today as each organisation creates its own guidelines; there is no consensus on how clinical ethics committees or consultations should be conducted. Support systems that are public in nature are needed to protect patients' rights and freedoms in medical care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)981-984
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of law and medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 01-08-2020
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects
  • Health Policy
  • Law


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