Should doctors ever be professionally required to change their attitudes?

Clinical Ethics 4 (2):67-73 (2009)
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Abstract

The General Medical Council instructs doctors not to allow their personal beliefs to interfere with their practice. But if attitudes can threaten to impact negatively on a doctor's practice then the question arises: should doctors ever be professionally required to change their attitudes? In this paper I suggest that doctors should be required to amend their attitudes if two conditions are met, namely: (1) the doctor has an attitude that if neglected by the doctor will (or is very likely to) compromise his or her fitness to practise; and (2) the only way in which the doctor can prevent that attitude from compromising his or her fitness to practise is by changing the attitude. I also answer three objections that might be raised against the position that I advance.

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Demian Whiting
University of Hull

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