Virtual Mentor. December 1999, Volume 1, Number 4.
Cases in Law and Ethics
Disclosing the Truth about Medical Error
Readers are directed to a 1999 American Family Physician article to consider the ethical question posed by disclosing medical error to patients.
Both ethics and law address norms that govern physicians’ behavior.
Many view the law as a baseline for articulating the limits placed on individuals living within society as well as an enabling device to facilitate social relationships. Encompassing as the law may be in some areas of human conduct, in many others it is silent. In the absence of legal norms or prohibitions, physicians often find guidance in the standards arrived at through ethical reasoning. To guide students through the process of ethical reasoning and to acquaint them with case law, a new case study will appear every 2 to 4 weeks. Students will be given legal and/or ethical opinions to assist their decision-making.
See what the AMA Code of Medical Ethics says about this topic in Opinion 8.12 Patient information. American Medical Association. Code of Medical Ethics 2008-2009 Edition. Chicago, IL: American Medical Association; 2008:263-265.
The viewpoints expressed on this site are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the AMA.
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