Published today Online at Medscape Internal Medicine, Art Caplan PhD, a Bioethicist at the University of Pennsylvania, Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, commented on the question "Should doctors ever lie to their patients?"
The question was prompted by a study which found that 20% of more than 2000 physicians surveyed (!) admitted that they had not told patients the truth when an error had taken place. The study's authors also noted that more than 10% had not discussed financial conflicts of interest. More interesting is that at least 15% of the physicians surveyed gave a rosier picture about prognosis and risk/benefit with respect to a disease. In his commentary, Dr. Caplan says that "..Truth...is probably something that is more of a tool to be worked with in trying to help patients than it is an absolute necessity all of the time.." What do you think? Join the conversation and share your opinion!
For more information:
- Lying to Patients: No Huge Ethical Failure, Says Bioethicist