Ethical Decision Making in the Diagnosis and Management of STDs
Few issues in health care arouse as much controversy as those associated with sexuality and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The prevention, diagnosis, and management of sexually transmitted diseases impacts individual patients and families, as well as the population as a whole. Politics, schools, the media, and public health systems all influence policies about STDs. This month's issue explores some of the ethical issues surrounding STDs, such as confidentiality, stigma, and the exchange of information between physician and patient. Though some clinicians may be uncomfortable with this topic, STDs are not rare and can impact almost any age group or segment of the population.