Recent research published in Medscape analyzes how North American physicians cope with ethical dilemmas of the medical profession and if your perspective has changed in the last decade.
Refering to legalization of physician-assisted death for terminally ill patients, acceptance has increased in the last decade. Thus, in 2020, 55 percent believe yes, compared to 28 percent who answered no.. In 2010, these percentages were 46-42. However, the number of doctors advocating euthanasia for non-terminal patients is decreasing. Thus, 37 percent are favorable, compared to 34 percent who reject this option and 29 percent who condition it.
Asked about the possibility of insufficiently treating a patient’s pain Out of fear of what the Medical Board might think or cause addiction, 18 percent admit that they would do so compared to 68 percent who rule out this possibility. In 2010, the percentage was 6 percent among those who considered this option and 84 percent in those who rejected it.
53 percent of the doctors surveyed see it as correct to speak ill of their hospital or health center if they have not been provided with the necessary tools to carry out their work compared to 8 percent who discard this option and 40 percent who conditions it. This question becomes more relevant in a year like 2020, marked by the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic and the lack of protective equipment.
Asked if it should remove a patient from life support at the request of the family if the doctor considers that the patient has a chance of survival; 18 percent think so, compared to 34 who think otherwise and 48 percent who think it depends on the circumstances. Ten years ago, up to 55 percent denied this possibility.
Otherwise, 44 percent of the doctors interviewed would provide life support to a patient at the request of the family even though they consider it useless, compared to 14 percent who discard this option and 42 percent who condition it. In 2010, the percentage of doctors who ruled out this option rose to 37 percent compared to 24 percent who answered yes.
Drug or alcohol use
Asked why they would do if they observe that a partner is occasionally under the influence of alcohol or drugs, 28 percent say that they would give notice compared to 59 percent who would also report this attitude but speaking beforehand with their partner, a 2 percent who would not warn and 10 percent who conditions their response. In addition, 34 percent are in favor of the fact that random drug or alcohol testing of doctors while 43 percent reject this option.
43 percent of the doctors counted advocate allowing experimental treatments in terminal patients compared to 23 percent who rule out this option.
If they have witnessed a partner sexually harassing another, 72 percent would report the facts versus two percent who would not. If there are no witnesses to the alleged sexual harassment of a doctor, only 4 percent believe that he should be sanctioned or fired compared to 39 who believe otherwise and 57 percent who believe it depends on the circumstances.
Asked if participating in events paid for by pharmaceutical companies would affect their prescription habits, 63 percent of the doctors surveyed said yes, compared to 26 percent who said no.
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