More than 21,000 physicians in 25 specialties responded to this year's Medscape Physician Ethics Report. Some notable findings:
A slim majority of doctors (54%) say they favor allowing physician-assisted suicide, commenting that patients have a right to a dignified death in the face of incurable illness. Support among physicians for assisted suicide has increased in recent years.
Doctors were divided regarding random drug and alcohol testing, with 39% of physicians in favor of it and 43% opposing it.
More than two thirds (69%) of respondents say patients who practice unhealthy behaviors (such as smoking or poor diet) and ignore treatment recommendations should pay more for health insurance. Fewer than 1 in 5 (18%) flatly oppose factoring behavior into the cost equation.
The vast majority of doctors (99%) responded that it is not acceptable to have a romantic or sexual relationship with a current patient. Physicians are not as strongly opposed to starting a romantic or sexual relationship with a patient when the factor of time is introduced, however. According to the survey, 22% of physicians said starting a relationship is acceptable when 6 or more months have elapsed since they stopped treating the patient.
Approximately 9 out of 10 physicians (91%) believe that it is never acceptable to cover up or avoid revealing a mistake that would harm a patient. Only 6% of respondents say there are, or could be, situations in which it would be acceptable to cover up or fail to disclose a mistake.
What do you think? Do any of the results of our report surprise you? Click here to view the overview report and then add your comments below.
Medscape Business of Medicine © 2014 WebMD, LLC
Cite this: Leslie Kane. What Do You Think About Physician Ethics? - Medscape - Dec 16, 2014.