Ethics Youth Council: The Complexities of Being an Ethical Doctor

In our latest Youth Council podcast, Bonnie Liu, co-captain of the 2017-2018 Ann Arbor Greenhills School Ethics Bowl team, talks with Whit Froehlich, a Greenhills alum and current third-year medical student at the University of Michigan. 

Whit and Bonnie focus on the case he wrote for this year's Ethics Bowl - an examination of what happens when family members disagree about a patient's medical decisions in a potentially life-threatening situation. Whit's case asks: among a doctor's competing duties to his patient, the patient's family, and their own medical judgment, which one wins out? Throughout the podcast, Whit and Bonnie walk through the compelling ethical issues this case presents. Most notably, they highlight the tensions between principals and agents, their relationships and their autonomy. Further, they outline conflicting notions of an organization's, e.g., a hospital's, and a doctor's obligation to allocate scarce medical resources. They also discuss what actually happened in this real-life case example and the ethics resources hospitals provide to assist and inform medical professionals, patients and families in making these decisions.

Aside from his case, Whit also touches on the role of ethics in an entirely different sphere - the University of Michigan's student government - and how ethics plays into his life and career trajectory moving forward.