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Lecture 13 - Confidentiality

Lecture 13 - Confidentiality - E But Meyer claims that...

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Dishonesty 1 Physician Honesty Bernard Meyer’s “Truth and the Physician” I. Prelims A. Two principles from the Hippocratic Oath that come into conflict 1. Keeping patients from harm 2. Telling patients the truth B. Oftentimes physicians, when bearing bad news concerning a diagnosis and/or prognosis, will adhere to a rigid formula: either always tell patients the truth, or never tell them the truth C. Why, for Meyer, is it so difficult for physicians to bear bad news to patients? 1. Rescue fantasy 2. Guilt impulses 3. Child-hood fears of sickness and death D. So, when bad news hits their patients, their fears are resurfacing. They feel bad and powerless; and maybe they feel a guilty fascination. All the better to avoid this and not get emotionally involved by mechanically following a formula
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Unformatted text preview: E. But Meyer claims that following a rigid formula is not good for patients. For sometimes it’s better that a patient not hear the truth. But, then, sometimes it’s better that they do. II. Why It’s Good for a Physician to Sometimes Tell the Truth A. Even when patients can guess the truth concerning their diagnosis and/or prognosis, it’s good that they are explicitly told the truth to open lines of communication III. Why Physicians Should Sometimes Withhold the Truth A. Patients don’t always want to hear bad news B. More harm than not will come to them if you do not lie C. Sometimes telling the truth is impossible...
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