The virtuous physician and antimicrobial prescribing policy and practice

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


In this chapter, I outline some key patient-centred medical virtues and
several community-centred medical virtues, and I consider what sorts of antimicrobial prescribing decisions such virtues would lead physicians to make. I argue that practically-intelligent virtuous physicians should also have an awareness of the sorts of cognitive biases that are especially likely to distort their antimicrobial prescribing decisions, and I urge physicians to develop ways of avoiding or counteracting such biases. Further, I argue that effectively addressing the impact of these biases and other countervailing factors that inhibit virtuous prescribing practices is the responsibility not only of individual physicians, but also of institutions and regulators. I outline some strategies that individual physicians, institutions, and healthcare policymakers could develop to help physicians hit the targets of those patient-centred and community-centred medical virtues, and to thereby play their part in redressing the problems of antimicrobial resistance.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEthics and Drug-Resistance
Subtitle of host publicationCollective Responsibility for Global Public Health
EditorsEuzebiusz Jamrozik, Michael Selgelid
Place of PublicationCham Switzerland
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9783030278748
ISBN (Print)9783030278731
Publication statusPublished - 27 Oct 2020

Publication series

NamePublic Health Ethics Analysis
ISSN (Print)2211-6680


  • medical virtue
  • practical intelligence
  • justice
  • antibiotic overprescribing
  • cognitive bias

Cite this