Daily Mail - - Good Health -

HAVE you ever ex­ag­ger­ated your symp­toms to get a doc­tor’s ap­point­ment — or even lied?

That’s wrong on a num­ber of lev­els, in­clud­ing your own health, says Daniel Sokol, a lead­ing med­i­cal ethi­cist and bar­ris­ter.

It could mean you re­ceive the wrong treat­ment and it has reper­cus­sions for other pa­tients, too. ‘It could mis­lead doc­tors into pri­ori­tis­ing less in­jured, but dis­hon­est, pa­tients at the cost of more in­jured, but hon­est, pa­tients,’ he says.

‘The sys­tem re­lies on hon­est com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween pa­tient and doc­tor — pa­tients should tell doc­tors the truth, and doc­tors should tell pa­tients the truth.

‘If many pa­tients lied to see a doc­tor, that would prob­a­bly lead to more harm than good.’ Ly­ing to a doc­tor would only be mo­rally ac­cept­able if telling the truth would lead to sig­nif­i­cant phys­i­cal or psy­cho­log­i­cal harm to some­one, but that would be ex­ceed­ingly rare, he says.

Ly­ing may also pro­vide doc­tors with a de­fence to any le­gal ac­tion if things go wrong.

‘The doc­tor may well ar­gue the er­ror was made as a re­sult of the false in­for­ma­tion de­lib­er­ately given by the pa­tient.’

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