Ethics Reminder

Monday, April 21, 2008 at 2:21:59 PM

Just a reminder that under the above policy approved by the Medical Staff, it is inappropriate for physicians and hospital staff to treat relatives, close friends, or themselves.

An ethics position paper published by the Annals of Internal Medicine (April, 1998) states that: “Physicians should avoid treating themselves, close friends, or members of their own families. Physicians should also be very cautious about assuming the care of closely associated employees. Problems may include inadequate history taking or physical examination as a result of role-related discomfort on the part of patient or physician. The physician’s emotional proximity can result in a loss of objectivity. If a physician does treat a close friend, family member, or employee out of necessity, the patient should be transferred to another physician as soon as it is practical. Otherwise, requests for care on the part of employees, family members, or friends should be resolved by assisting them in obtaining appropriate care. Fulfilling the role of informed and loving adviser, however, is not precluded.”

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