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Lying to patients: ethical dilemmas of communication in paediatric practice

Author:

R. M. Mudiyanse

University of Peradeniya, LK
About R. M.
Department of Paediatrics
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Abstract

Doctors resort to conceal information or even to give partially wrong information with the intention of safeguarding patient’s benefit. This stand is not acceptable for medical ethicists. However not divulging the entire truth has been seemingly beneficial in three case scenarios presented in this paper. Three case scenarios involve avoiding investigating a possible paternity dispute, giving false information to pursue on a low cost drug regimen, and not promoting legal action against serious therapeutic misadventure. These case scenarios were evaluated based on the definition of deception in Buddhist teaching. Accordingly, lack of intention to harm and lack of harm caused by the deception allow room for an argument that non-disclosure or partially incorrect disclosure is not a sin and therefore acceptable. However accepting lack of harm or even the benefit as an excuse for deception as a policy in a wider context of clinical practice needs careful consideration.


Sri Lanka Journal of Forensic Medicine, Science & Law-December 2015; 6(2): 3-7
How to Cite: Mudiyanse, R.M., (2016). Lying to patients: ethical dilemmas of communication in paediatric practice. Sri Lanka Journal of Forensic Medicine, Science & Law. 6(2), pp.3–7. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljfmsl.v6i2.7763
Published on 06 Feb 2016.
Peer Reviewed

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