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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Is lying about the severity of a patient's condition and treatment details ethical?

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Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :1999

Answered : 675 Questions

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Posted on Tue, 21 Mar 2017 in Medicines and Side Effects
Question: Can doctors legally and per their ethical responsibility/scope of practicce , lie to a vulnerable and terrified patient under their care about what medications that vulnerable and desperate patient is given using deception as a method to administer a drug/drugs that the patient specifically listed as causing severe and even life threatening side affects? When injury and emotional damage results from this type of situation, what is a patient to do? How can I better protect myself from this type of abuse?
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Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis 15 minutes later
Brief Answer:
normally no doctor should lie to a patient

Detailed Answer:
Hello,

a doctor should always tell the truth about the patient's condition and treatment details including the risks involved and the expected benefit. The only exception may involve incapacitated patients due to mental illness or dementia.

The only way to protect yourself against such behavior is to choose your doctor carefully. Some patients want their doctors to guide them without providing the details. In case your doctor thinks you're such a patient, you can emphasize your need to participate in treatment decisions.

Kind Regards!

Kind Regards!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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