Virtual Mentor. January 2005, Volume 7, Number 1.
Case 2.2: Disclosure and Patient Information—Mr. Douglas's Angiogram Gets a Second Look
Given the clear obligation to provide patients with accurate information about their medical condition, option A (choosing not to inform Mr. Douglas) should be avoided because it violates the demands of the Code in Opinion 8.12, "Patient Information." Even though Dr. Carlson does not have an existing relationship with Mr. Douglas, he has an obligation (as does Scott) to make sure Mr. Douglas is apprised of his medical condition.
Option B (contacting Mr. Douglas) is an acceptable alternative because it fulfills Dr. Carlson's obligation to Mr. Douglas, but it may undermine the trust between Dr. Kim and Mr. Douglas. To help preserve the trust in their relationship, option C is the preferable alternative. It allows Dr. Kim the opportunity to inform Mr. Douglas of the new diagnosis himself, but makes clear that the ethical obligation to inform Mr. Douglas of the diagnostic error will be fulfilled regardless.
Preferable: Option C
Acceptable: Option B
Avoid: Option A
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