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Exercise prescription and the doctor’s duty of non-maleficence
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  • Published on:
    • Alexandre Palma, Professor Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro/ Physical Education and Sports School/ Rio de Janeiro/ Brazil
    • Other Contributors:
      • Giovana B Paiva, Physical Education Teacher
      • Mariane FS Araújo, Physical Education Teacher
      • Murilo M Vilaça, Professor

    Some decades ago, Tom Beauchamp and James Childress proposed four principles for biomedical ethics (i.e., respect for autonomy, non-maleficence, beneficence, and justice). They postulated that such an approach, called principlism, could be applied universally. 1
    The relationship between regular physical activity and the prevention of some diseases has been disseminated widely in scientific literature. 2 Pugh et al. 3 highlighted the importance of broadening the debate on this relationship and not relying solely on the principle of beneficence. It would also be necessary for the authors to acknowledge practically the principle of non-maleficence. Within this perspective, Pugh et al. 3 commented on the risk of damage, possibly even death, from vigorous physical exercise for the practitioners (whom they called patients).
    It is worth noting that the principles of non-maleficence and beneficence have played a central role in the history of biomedical ethics. However, respect for autonomy and justice seem to be often neglected. 1 Even though we may agree on some points with Pugh et al. 3, it is imperative to bring other bioethical principles to the debate.
    Thus, we would like to contribute, although briefly, to the debate on the topic addressed by Pugh et al. 3 and suggest that the focus on non-maleficence should be broadened. In addition, we highlight the indispensable focus on the principle of justice and autonomy.
    Regarding the expansion of the non-...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.