medical ethics, dr dale peterson

Know Thy Physician

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Know Thy Physician

In August of 2010, the physician-targeted website Medscape surveyed 10,000 physicians regarding their ethical positions. The conclusions were that physicians try to do what they believe is right, but those beliefs vary widely. Many physicians no longer look to long-established principles such as those found in the Hippocratic Oath or the Declaration of Geneva for guidance, but rather choose be guided by personal beliefs.

When asked if physicians should refuse gifts from pharmaceutical companies 47 % said that they should refuse, but 37 % disagreed in general and 16 % said that whether or not to accept a perk should be determined by each individual situation.

46 % of physicians surveyed were in favor of physician-assisted suicide, 41 % were opposed, and the others were undecided.

Other interesting findings included:

· 16 % said it is acceptable to perform a procedure if the only reason for doing so is to reduce the risk of a lawsuit; 22 % were undecided
· 19 % said it was o.k. to cover up a harmless mistake; 29 % were undecided
· 17 % said it was acceptable to falsify an insurance claim “to get the patient the services necessary”

I believe that the survey results show that you should ask your personal physician about his or her beliefs. If they are not in alignment with your own views you should consider finding a new physician before a crisis appears.