The Medical Field For Patients, Physicians, And The Truth, By Susan Cullen And Margaret Klein

The Medical Field For Patients, Physicians, And The Truth, By Susan Cullen And Margaret Klein

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One of the most complex, ever-changing careers is the medical field. Physicians are not only faced with medical challenges, but also with ethical ones. In “Respect for Patients, Physicians, and the Truth”, by Susan Cullen and Margaret Klein, they discuss to great extent the complicated dilemmas physicians encounter during their practice. In their publication, Cullen and Klein discuss the pros and cons of disclosing the medical diagnosis (identifying the nature or cause of the disease), and the prognosis (the end result after treating the condition). But this subject is not easily regulated nor are there guidelines to follow. One example that clearly illustrates the ambiguity of the subject is when a patient is diagnosed with a serious, life-threatening disease. The physicians are subject to making decisions based on several recommendations, and are required to make a decision whether to tell the patient the truth or to withhold information.
Cullen and Klein argue that omitting the truth or not telling the patient pertinent information regarding the seriousness of his physical health is not only unethical but it could actually be damaging to the patient. Cullen and Klein state that there is a clear difference between the “whole truth” (pertaining to all the medical details), and the “wholly truth” (which deals with the nature and seriousness of the disease). They affirm that the patient has the right to be told, -if not the whole truth (because medical terminology may impair the patient’s understanding), the wholly truth, so that the patient, as an autonomous person, can make his or hers own rational decisions.
Take the case of a patient diagnosed with terminal cancer. A physician can take the role of withholding the severity o...

... middle of paper ...

...Their Patients?” This question is a rather complicated one, because it deals with physicians openly deceiving the patients into believing that they will attain their health again. This subject deals with physicians altering the truth in order for the patient to reach his goal, however, it is important to note that “deception will not be likely to help. Most often, the physician’s only legitimate course is to respect her patient’s status as an autonomous agent” (Cullen & Klein 155).
We can resume by saying that deceiving the patient is not only unethical but morally wrong. There is no valid proof that withholding information is helpful for the patient, and although in some cases the omission of medical information is short term helpful, the truth should be not only mandated, but needed as it is an integral part of a human being and the preservation to one’s autonomy.

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