an attitude or policy that overrides a person's own wishes in pursuit of their best interests. The question of when, if ever, a measure of paternalism may be justified remains one of the most difficult in ethics. The philosopher John Stuart Mill argued that intervention was justified only when trying to prevent a person from causing harm to others, not to himself. In practice, however, we accept certain paternalistic constraints in our everyday lives, such as the legal requirement to wear seat belts when driving. In general, medical ethics takes the view that the autonomy of the individual is paramount and his or her wishes are sacrosanct. However, a form of paternalism may be justified when a person lacks full mental capacity to make decisions for him- or herself.
paternalistic adj.

The new mediacal dictionary. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Paternalism — refers usually to an attitude or a policy stemming from the hierarchic pattern of a family based on patriarchy, that is, there is a figurehead (the father, pater in Latin) that makes decisions on behalf of others (the children ) for their own… …   Wikipedia

  • paternalism — paternalísm s. n. Trimis de siveco, 10.08.2004. Sursa: Dicţionar ortografic  PATERNALÍSM s.n. 1. Sistem social caracterizat prin predominanţa prestigiului celor mai vârstnici sau a unuia care deţine o influenţă personală asupra grupului. 2.… …   Dicționar Român

  • Paternalism — Pa*ter nal*ism, n. (Polit. Science) The theory or practice of paternal government. See {Paternal government}, under {Paternal}. London Times. [1913 Webster] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • paternalism — (n.) government as by a father over his children, 1881, from PATERNAL (Cf. paternal) + ISM (Cf. ism); paternalistic was in use by 1890 …   Etymology dictionary

  • paternalism — ► NOUN ▪ the policy of restricting the freedom and responsibilities of subordinates or dependents in their supposed best interest. DERIVATIVES paternalist noun & adjective paternalistic adjective …   English terms dictionary

  • paternalism — [pə tʉr′n liz΄əm] n. [ PATERNAL + ISM] the principle or system of governing or controlling a country, group of employees, etc. in a manner suggesting a father s relationship with his children paternalist n., adj. paternalistic adj.… …   English World dictionary

  • paternalism — [[t]pətɜ͟ː(r)nəlɪzəm[/t]] N UNCOUNT Paternalism means taking all the decisions for the people you govern, employ, or are responsible for, so that they cannot or do not have to make their own decisions. The government should be guided by the… …   English dictionary

  • paternalism — A loosely defined term which is often attached to social relationships within which the dominant partner adopts an attitude and set of practices that suggest provident fostering care for his or her subordinates. The concept carries implications… …   Dictionary of sociology

  • paternalism — noun Date: 1881 1. a system under which an authority undertakes to supply needs or regulate conduct of those under its control in matters affecting them as individuals as well as in their relations to authority and to each other 2. a policy or… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • paternalism — paternalist, n., adj. paternalistic, adj. paternalistically, adv. /peuh terr nl iz euhm/, n. the system, principle, or practice of managing or governing individuals, businesses, nations, etc., in the manner of a father dealing benevolently and… …   Universalium

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