Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Why I feel educating doctors about ethics is futile

I recently read that the Bombay University is planning to start a course on teaching ethics to medical students. I feel this is an exercise in futility. Ethical conduct is a very personal matter, and depends largely upon how you've been brought up. It's hard to teach anyone "ethical behaviour after they join medical college - it's much too
late, in my opinion !

I feel good doctors don't need to be taught; and bad doctors will never improve, no matter how much you teach them !

This is why I feel the focus should be on patients, and not doctors ! Well informed patients will not allow doctors to take them for a ride; and are the best safeguard against unethical doctors.

1 comment:

  1. I believe it is a debatable point that well informed patients would be able to stop doctors from taking them for a ride, especially in cases of an emergency.

    Classes in ethics may not be very effective, but they do serve as a reminder. Probably the same reason why Hippocrate's oath is displayed quite prominently on many hospital walls.

    What should work really well is peer groups formed by the doctors which exert pressure on erring members. Such methods have been applied with moderate success in the IAS.

    Whistleblowing should be encouraged by all medical staff and hospitals should be forced by the Govt. / Consumer Commission to have a well documented whistleblowing policy.


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