Truth-telling in health care
Slowther, Anne. (2009) Truth-telling in health care. Clinical Ethics, 4 (4). pp. 173-175. ISSN 1477-7509Full text not available from this repository.
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1258/ce.2009.009033
The moral importance of telling the truth is recognized in both moral theory and in the practical reality of everyday living. In the context of health care, the duty of a health professional to be honest with her patient is articulated in professional codes of conduct, for example the General Medical Council (GMC) document Good Medical Practice lists in its duties of a doctor,
‘be honest and open and act with integrity’1
It also states.
‘share with patients, in a way they can understand, the information they want or need to know about their condition, its likely progression, and the treatment options available to them, including associated risks and uncertainties’.1
There has been a gradual move over recent years in health care, particularly Western health care, to give more weight to patient autonomy, shared decision-making and better communication with patients. However, empirical studies continue to show that health-care professionals identify the question of truth-telling and disclosure as a source of moral and psychological discomfort in many situations.2,3 Clinicians may bring these dilemmas to a clinical ethics committee for advice. In this five-minute focus I will consider the moral arguments that inform the discussion of truth-telling in health care and explore the range of contexts in which difficulties might arise.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Subjects:||B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
|Divisions:||Faculty of Medicine > Warwick Medical School > Health Sciences
Faculty of Medicine > Warwick Medical School > Health Sciences > Social Science & Systems in Health (SSSH)
Faculty of Medicine > Warwick Medical School
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Medical ethics, Truth, Communication in medicine|
|Journal or Publication Title:||Clinical Ethics|
|Publisher:||Royal Society of Medicine Press Ltd.|
|Official Date:||December 2009|
|Page Range:||pp. 173-175|
|Access rights to Published version:||Restricted or Subscription Access|
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