Essay On Doctor-Patient Relationship

Some medical journals that feature physician narratives state explicitly whether patient permission is required: The , for example, will publish nonfiction about patients only if the patient signs a form. With my piece about the elderly woman already accepted, and thanks to a backlog at the publication, I had time to ponder.I decided to write a letter to my former patient’s daughter to tell her that I’d call the following week about something I had written. Finally, she said that she didn’t really understand why I felt compelled to write this story. And yet, all these years and many personal essays later, there remains a niggling sense that maybe I shouldn’t be exposing the inner lives of my patients, that even with a patient’s okay, even after a careful resection of sensitive elements, I may have taken advantage of a confidence. uses cookies to improve performance by remembering your session ID when you navigate from page to page.

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Patients rightly assume that their conversations with healthcare providers are confidential, and while there’s an implied consent that relevant information may be noted in the medical record, no one expects a rendition of a seemingly privileged conversation to appear in a magazine or newspaper article. Although a television broadcast of a patient’s death, without family consent, is particularly egregious, is publishing an essay about a patient’s personal life that different?

In some instances, say, in an op-ed, a description may be so brief or generalized that it’s unlikely to be linked to a real person.

She was no longer at that phone number, so I searched Facebook.

I found a photo of her and her new spouse, looking happy, and decided against forcing her to revisit that difficult time.

Patients need powerto formulate their values, articulate andachieve health needs, and fulfil theirresponsibilities. The ethical effectivenessof a health system is maximised by empoweringdoctors and patients to develop `adult-adult'rather than `adult-child' relationships thatrespect and enable autonomy, accountability,fidelity and humanity.

Even in adult-adultrelationships, conflicts and complexitiesarise. Lack of concordance between doctors andpatients can encourage paternalism but may bebest resolved through negotiated care.

Residents, new doctors in their most intense years of training, are immersed in stories—stories of the hospital and illness, of tragedies and cures.

They come to the workshop bursting with those stories.

I was proud of the piece and prouder yet when I learned that it would be published. Now, I could omit details that made it more likely someone might recognize her.

So I nixed a few touches that weren’t vital to the piece.


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