Should I or shouldn’t I…..

A recent story in the news and the discussions that followed between the Twitterati made me think; should we as doctors share our personal views and beliefs with our patients?  And would sharing these beliefs bring us closer or divide us?

The article in question was the one about a family GP who refused to refer a patient for a TOP because the wanted a boy and not a girl (it may have been the other way round, I have a short attention span) and now faces potential action from AHPRA.

As a Christian, I have certain views on TOP’s and have often shared these with my patients.  I have however, never allowed these beliefs to challenge my patients decision.  Should I?

At church we are working through a study course called “Not a fan” which challenges us with the question whether we are “fans” or “followers” of Jesus, with the difference between the two, the level of personal commitment.  One of the very challenging questions this week was “…when last did following Jesus cost you anything and what was that cost…?”.

Now that brings me back to the question, if I say that I am a truly committed Christian, should my beliefs not dictate my actions even if that costs me a reprimand from AHPRA?  How many times do we as doctors simply keep quite about issues just because we are governed by some form of ethic bureaucracy?  I can certainly think of a number of very current issues in my practice:

  1. The 14yr old coming in with her mother and asking for oral contraception.
  2. The husband returning from his “business trip” in Asia with a STI.
  3. Termination of pregnancy.
  4. Etc.

Now I am not saying for one moment that everyone should have the same beliefs, the question I ask is this:  How often do we as doctors keep quite about an issue simply because a patient has rights and we are fearful of potential repercussions through litigation or regulating authorities?

Let me know what you think.


2 thoughts on “Should I or shouldn’t I…..

  1. Sometimes I wonder noosadocfranc, how Dr’s cope doing procedures against the beliefs just for the contentment of the patient. I found out first hand many years ago when finding out that I was pregnant by my then Dr that he chose to not to keep quiet on his beliefs of circumcision. He was against circumcision and wasn’t afraid to voice his opinion as to why, because my husband and I wanted the procedure done if we had a son, we opted to change Dr’s rather than offend or argue with him. We chose the right to follow our beliefs.
    My point being is that everyone, whether they are Dr or patient should have the right to follow their beliefs without the fear of repercussions or feelings of stress or grief. People have choice, if their Dr. chooses not to do a procedure (as is his/her right) then they can find a Dr. that will..

    • ………………. and while we as patients have these rights, I do believe that Dr’s have the same rights in placing, speaking or presenting their pros & cons points of views to the order for them (the patient) to make an informed decision about their health or the health of others. I dont believe that the AHPRA should interfere or chastise the Dr on his/her decision, unless the health and welfare of a patient has been compromised.

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