….a useful website - http://www.priory.com/ethics.htm Autonomy (self rule) –Help patients to make their own decisions and respect these decisions even if you disagree Beneficence (Do Good) –Doing what is best for the patient – but what is the best? May conflict with autonomy Non-maleficence (Do no Harm) Justice/Equity –time and resources
Also…. Confidentiality Breaking it legally! (a) The notification of births and deaths under the National Health Service Act 1977 Section 124 and regulation (1982 SI. No. 286). (b) Notification of communicable disease covered by the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 and Public Health (Infectious Diseases) Regulations 1988. (c) Notification of abortion Abortion Regulations 1991, regulations 45 (duty of medical practitioner to notify of abortions carried out and circumstances in which further disclosure of that information may be required or requested). (d) Serious accidents covered under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. Regulations on the Reporting of Injuries Diseases and Dangerous Occurrence (1985 and 1989) and Road Traffic Acts. (e) Acts of Treason and Intention to cause explosion to Her Majestys Dockyards. (f) There are certain obligations to pass on information under the Mental Health Act 1983; Mental Health Patients in the Community Act 1995; Mental Health Act (Scotland) 1984; Mental Health NI Order 1986; and the Mental Treatments Acts (Ireland) 194561. (g) Section 1 AIDS Control Act 1987 (duty of health authority and others to make reports of number, but not the identity of, persons with AIDS or known to be HIV antibody positive). (h) Section 18 Prevention of Terrorism Act 1989 (power to require the production of information from any person, making it an offence to fail to volunteer that information). (i) Road Traffic Act 1988 (S.172), which may require an attending doctor to provide the identity of patients he/she has treated following a road traffic accident.
The duties of a doctor registered with the General Medical Council Patients must be able to trust doctors with their lives and well-being. To justify that trust, we as a profession have a duty to maintain a good standard of practice and care and to show respect for human life. In particular as a doctor you must: –make the care of your patient your first concern; –treat every patient politely and considerately; –respect patients' dignity and privacy; –listen to patients and respect their views; –give patients information in a way they can understand; –respect the rights of patients to be fully involved in decisions about their care; –keep your professional knowledge and skills up to date; –recognise the limits of your professional competence; –be honest and trustworthy; –respect and protect confidential information; –make sure that your personal beliefs do not prejudice your patients' care; –act quickly to protect patients from risk if you have good reason to believe that you or a colleague may not be fit to practise; –avoid abusing your position as a doctor; and –work with colleagues in the ways that best serve patients' interests. In all these matters you must never discriminate unfairly against your patients or colleagues. And you must always be prepared to justify your actions to them.