Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 34 (4):813-816 (2006)

When a health care professional contacts a health care attorney for advice about how to deal with a medical error involving a patient, what is the most ethically appropriate response? Honesty is the best policy; the ethical health lawyer should advise the client to tell the patient the truth. This advice is neither naïve nor impractical, as we will show. More importantly, it is without question the right thing to do for a number of sound reasons. It may not be a natural inclination or an easy task to accomplish; several countervailing factors discourage health professionals from telling patients the truth about medical errors. However, we will argue that resistance to truthful disclosure can and should be overcome by rational arguments that also take into consideration the psychodynamics of the patient-health professional relationship.
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DOI 10.1111/j.1748-720x.2006.00101.x
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