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The Duties Of Doctors Toward Patients

Discussion in 'Doctors Cafe' started by Jennifer Allen, Aug 26, 2019.

  1. Jennifer Allen

    Jennifer Allen Young Member

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    Depending on the reason for the patient's visit, doctors offer diagnoses, order treatments and also check on the progress of patients. This writeup is aimed at discussing doctors' duties towards their patients.

    Doctors have many duties to fulfil toward their patients. Their responsibilities also cover their own actions, as well as orders which they give to their assistants, such as nurses, medical students and resident doctors. They have an obligation to diagnose and treat patients. Legally, doctors have an obligation of means toward their patients, not an obligation of result. This means it is important to take appropriate steps available to be able to make the right diagnosis, provide treatment and also follow-up on the progress of their patients.

    Doctors must also make sure they base their actions on up-to-date scientific information and also ensure they use recognized treatments in the right way. They must make sure they treat their patients attentively, vigilantly and also carefully.

    Doctors must know their own limits, in case of doubt, they must ensure they get information from other people or refer their patients to specialists. It is also the duty of a doctor to prescribe the right medications, tell patients about the advantages, disadvantages, alternatives and risks as regards a proposed treatment or operation, and also help to provide right follow-up to the patient within a reasonable amount of time.

    For example, after a treatment, a doctor must also provide the medical follow-up that is required by the patient's state of health, or at least make sure that a colleague or another professional follows up with the patient.

    Doctors must also give their patients all the information they require in other to make free and informed decisions. For example, doctors must tell their patients about diagnosis, risk of the treatment, nature, goal and seriousness of the treatment, also other available treatment options.

    While doctors must inform their patients about the negative effects of a treatment, it is however impossible for a doctor to discuss about all the possible risks, they must tell their patients about the foreseeable risks that are involved. The extent of the duty of a doctor to provide information depends also on the circumstances and the patient in question.

    The doctor’s duty is majorly towards the patients themselves, they are the people who make decisions on behalf of patients or on behalf of the parents of children who are under the age of 14.

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