Bioethics Discussion Blog: Patient's Code of Ethics

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Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Patient's Code of Ethics

Don't you think that ethics in medicine should be a two-way street? If there is to be a partnership between the patient and physician to work to heal the illness, shouldn't the patient have consideration of the physician's burdens and suffering in the process? You do? Good! From Belleview College here is the "Patient's code of ethics". Now stick to it. Your doctor will appreciate your behavior. ..Maurice.



1. Do not expect your doctor to share your discomfort.
Involvement with the patient's suffering might cause him to lose his valuable scientific objectivity.
2. Be cheerful at all times.
Your doctor leads a busy and trying life and requires all the gentleness and reassurance he can get.
3. Try to suffer from the disease for which you are being treated. Remember that your doctor has a professional reputation to uphold.
4. Do not complain if the treatment fails to bring relief.
You must believe that your doctor has achieved a deep insight into the true nature of your illness, which transcends any mere permanent disability you may have experienced.
5. Never ask your doctor to explain what he is doing or why he is doing it.
It is presumptuous to assume that such profound matters could be explained in terms that you would understand.
6. Submit to novel experimental treatment readily.
Though the surgery may not benefit you directly, the resulting research paper will surely be of widespread interest.
7. Pay your medical bills promptly and willingly.
You should consider it a privilege to contribute, however modestly, to the well-being of physicians and other humanitarians. It is sheer arrogance to contract illnesses that are beyond your means.
8. Never reveal any of the shortcomings that have come to light in the course of treatment by your doctor.
The patient-doctor relationship is a privileged one, and you have a sacred duty to protect him from exposure.
9. Never die while in your doctor's presence or under his direct care.
This will only cause him needless inconvenience and embarrassment.

6 Comments:

At Friday, March 18, 2005 9:22:00 AM, Blogger Bioethics Dude said...

That is too funny.

 
At Friday, March 18, 2005 11:48:00 PM, Blogger Maurice Bernstein, M.D. said...

This is also called physician paternalism and there is some "truth" to the code. :-)
1. We doctors are not sympathetic nor are we always empathetic but we are too busy to care.
2. One of us, if not us, the patient should be cheerful.
3. Don't have more than one disease, if you do we have missed one unless the second disease is told to us as you leave the room and this will upset us that you didn't tell us when you came in.
4. It is your fault not ours that the teatment doesn't work so don't tell us about your faults.
5. We may not know what we are doing or why we are doing it.
6. Doctors make money by getting subjects. Don't let us down.
7. We don't like paying for agencies which badger you for your bill payments.
8. The shortcomings are not our fault so if you reveal anything it will be your own.
9. Dying only adds to our mortality statistics and that isn't good advertising!

Am I just kidding??? Hmmn. ..Maurice.

 
At Saturday, March 19, 2005 5:22:00 PM, Blogger Bioethics Dude said...

Thanks Maurice:-) I know what you mean...quite honestly, the Dude would love to work in a hospital or at least intern at one during/after law school. I just feel that the theory is nothing w/o living the application of it.

 
At Tuesday, March 22, 2005 7:44:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maurice, you left out some rules.

A. Never complain about a doctor's objective irrationality, or his defiance of the facts, even in life and death situations. Remember, he doesn't know the difference, and it's your life, not his.

B. If one doctor is hoplessly wrong, don't be upset if he is supported by two or three more, or by every doctor you can hire. Remember, the doctor-patient relationship is nice, but the doctor-doctor relationship preempts and supercedes the doctor-patient relationship every time.

 
At Tuesday, September 25, 2007 7:23:00 AM, Anonymous Adam said...

I know this is an old thread, but it really hit home when I was doing some searching for info about my son.

I'm dealing with this asshole urology surgeon who does not like it when I ask him tough questions, and will argue with me and wife incessently.

Thanks for posting this thread.

 
At Tuesday, September 25, 2007 8:16:00 AM, Blogger Maurice Bernstein, M.D. said...

Maybe this surgeon can only deal with "easy" questions such as "how much will this operation cost?". ..Maurice.

 

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