Whenever somebody goes to visit a physician, they assume that their physician will be completely honest with them in every way. According to information published in the Digital Journal, however, physicians may not be quite as honest as people would like much of the time.
One of the most disturbing areas where physicians felt that it was okay to omit what patients might consider to be important facts involved doctors having ties to medical device companies or pharmaceutical companies. The report found that a full 40% said that they didn’t feel obligated to let patients know that they had such ties, if they did. For many patients, this may make them second-guess why a physician recommended a certain medical device or pharmaceutical product over another.
Another fact revealed by the article might be even more disturbing. A full 30% of physicians didn’t believe that it was always necessary to tell patients about serious medical errors. Sometimes, when a physician makes a mistake, a patient won’t even know about it, at least if physicians act according to what the research would lead one to believe.
Physicians have an obligation to provide care that is up to recognized standards. Among those standards is giving accurate medical information. If a physician makes a serious medical error and doesn’t tell the patient, even the research referenced above reveals that patients would be more likely to pursue legal action then if the physician was simply straightforward about the incident. Unfortunately, many physicians are not straightforward, at least according to this research.