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Is Your Doctor Telling You Everything?

August 9, 2012 by  

Is Your Doctor Telling You Everything?
Is your doctor telling you everything?

Next time your doctor proposes a treatment for a health issue you are coping with, be sure that he explains all of the possible risks associated with the procedure.

Doctors are expected to advise and empower patients to make choices about procedures by sharing all information that may affect treatment decisions, including risks of adverse outcomes. Researchers from Australia and the U.S. led by David Studdert from the University of Melbourne found, however, that doctors, notably surgeons, often fail to mention certain risks associated with medical procedures.

The researchers analyzed 481malpractice claims and patient complaints involving allegations of failures in the process of obtaining informed consent before operations. They discovered that 9 percent of the cases studied were disputed duty cases—meaning, they involved head-to-head disagreements over whether a particular risk should have been disclosed before treatment. Two-thirds of these disputed duty cases involved surgeries. In most cases, lack of information had quality of life implications for patients, including chronic pain and the need for re-operation.

The researchers said the most common reasons doctors gave for not telling patients about particular risks were that they considered such risks too rare to warrant discussion or the risk was covered by another risk that was discussed.

Sam Rolley

Staff writer Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After learning about many of the biases present in most modern newsrooms, Rolley became determined to find a position in journalism that would allow him to combat the unsavory image that the news industry has gained. He is dedicated to seeking the truth and exposing the lies disseminated by the mainstream media at the behest of their corporate masters, special interest groups and information gatekeepers.

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  • 4204life

    Do no harm.

    • EricN

      Do no harm? By not telling the patient ALL of the facts the doctor could do harm to his patient. Afterall, in the end it’s our bodies they are working on and we have the final say in what is or is not done. We should be asking more questions to our doctors not less. I would bet if it was one of our pets we ask more questions to the veterinarian than we do our own doctors.

  • 45caliber

    And with Oblamacare, they won’t DARE tell you everything until some clerk in Washington tells them what to tell you. And that certainly won’t be everything.

  • http://none Claire

    As far as I am concerned, I truly believe my husband was a victim, not a patient. Too many doctors and none of them communicated with each other. Plus two botched surgeries, one ruined his kidneys. He died this past January. I could write a book about doctors. A person has to literally keep track of everything! I am to the point that I would rather go to a veterinarian than a human doctor. Now my son is facing heart surgery. He had to go for consultation today, and he asked the heart doctor if he should get a blood test. The doctor looked at the computer and said, “you have not had one, so yes, you need a blood test.” The surgery is next Tuesday so why in hell didn’t they order a blood test, why did my son have to ask for one? Plus the insurance company took nmore than a month to “approve” the surgery. I am scared to death about my son’s upcoming surgery. I have no faith nor trust in doctors. Death panels In Obamacare?? Death panels are already here and have been for quite awhile.

  • Bob

    As a doctor, I believe it is my duty tro teach people to take care of themselves, I abhor the self-serving policy of saying it’s not my problem to interjewct truths that can help people keep or get themselves well. Dr Robert Lieberman DC


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