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Posted on May 20, 2013 at 6:29 PM

I am putting up a series of excellent discussions about ethical/professional issues that could involve a medical student and you or a family member as a patient. Each discussion as a separate thread is based on the book Professionalism in Medicine : A Case-Based Guide for Medical Students. Cambridge:Cambridge University Press; 2010 and  from the website “Professionalism in Medicine” prepared by Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia Pennsylvania.  Each issue at the website is begun with a brief vignette, and then a brief video dramatization of the vignette and then followed by perspective commentaries by a medical student and followed by that of a faculty member. First go to the following link, read, view and then return and present the visitors to this thread your own view of the particular professional issue from the perspective of the patient: Principle of Patient Autonomy.  


In the case of surgery, informed consent for a procedure means that the patient understands the need for the surgery, the risks and in general how and specifically who is performing the surgery. By becoming informed and then agreeing, the patient’s autonomy is maintained. To intentionally fail to inform the patient beforehand as to who is part of the surgical team, except in the case of an emergent switch of surgeons, defeats the validity of informed consent. Patients expect the best of surgical skills and to have a novice involved without informing the patient and receiving patient consent for that novice is unethical and fails professional standards regardless of the necessity for novice (student) education. ..Maurice.

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