Frankly to patients… a “prescription” that is not dispensed in pharmacies

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Ancient Greek medical texts placed great emphasis on compassion and benevolence in addressing patients, even before an illness was diagnosed.

She advised doctors to be careful in their dealings with their patients, warning of the bad psychological impact of arrogance, or negative comments or references directed at patients.

Today, medical students are taught about the effect of kindness on the patient’s psyche. Perhaps the most important characteristic that distinguishes one doctor from another is his ability to create a special relationship with his patients, as if he were a member of their family, which increases the chances of recovery. The health crisis has exposed a kind of unnecessary frankness in the performance of many doctors, pointing out that they are delivering the news of the Corona virus infection to them in a way that they are very worried about. They added: “The gentle approach is more important than the prescription of the treatment.”

The doctors pointed out that the method followed by the doctor to open up to his patient is what determines the nature of the effect which will later deposit in the psyche of the patient, and is reflected in his will to face his illness. , cautioning against the blunt method in revealing the details of the patient’s medical condition, especially if he suffers from chronic or dangerous illnesses, because ignoring the patient’s need for kindness can lead to a worsening of his medical condition, and expose him to other illnesses in addition to his illness.

In detail, people said they had had difficult experiences because of the way doctors resorted to relaying news of their injury, or that other people close to them were seriously ill. They added that the method itself can be part of the treatment or the disease, depending on its effect.

And they continued that the laws do not punish the doctor for acting rudely or speaking rude terms, because these feelings come from the person themselves and cannot be imposed, pointing out that the experience of the global health crisis has revealed brutality in the performance of some doctors. , as they conveyed the news of the Corona virus infection to them, such that the patient feels he is about to die.

The head of the country’s Supreme Committee for Medical Liability, Dr. Abdul Razzaq Madani, has confirmed that the disclosure by the doctor to his patient of his medical condition does not entail any legal liability, especially in dangerous diseases whose patient must be aware. from the start.

He explained that “despite the need to be frank, physicians should use an appropriate method that has no adverse psychological effect on the patient. For example, in the event that he is proven to have cancer , or any other serious illness, the doctor may resort to announcing first to the family, and then gradually revealing the truth to the patient until he responds to specific therapeutic measures.

He insisted on the need to take into account the psychological dimension of the patient, as well as medical honesty, which requires openness and disclosure about the nature of the disease, which can be the basis of treatment and cure.

Dr. Muhammad Hassan Farajallah, a consultant psychiatrist at Khalifa Medical City in Ajman, said that the doctor’s transparency with the patient about his health status is a right of the patient under medical standards and medical ethics, which decides that every patient has the right to be informed of their medical condition, and for the doctor to confirm their understanding of their situation in order to be able to participate in decision-making about the treatment options available, and this concept is called “independence” in medicine.

Farajallah pointed out that concealing the truth about the patient’s medical condition undermines trust in the doctor and negates the patient’s right to make decisions about treatment plan options.

Regarding the possibility that excessive transparency on the patient’s condition may lead to deterioration of his health, he said that the realization of the patient’s best interests is the basic concept that governs the patient-doctor relationship. , and this interest cannot be attained without being frank with him. on his state of health, so that he can participate in decisions that affect On his health and life, the only exception is if the patient does not want to know the truth, or if he wants to entrust the task to the family, for example .

He said the psychological effects of candor can mostly be avoided through the skill of the doctor who informs the patient of the truth about the health situation, emphasizing that “it is an art of medicine” taught in medical schools and is called “the art of delivering bad news”, and requires knowledge of the patient’s culture and their desire to know the truth. Or perhaps his desire to delegate the family to act on his behalf, as this requires progressiveness and understanding.

He emphasized that the sure prescription for the doctor’s relationship with his patients is to know and understand the cultural background of the patient and his family, and to appreciate the family’s interest in the patient and their desire to hide from him. the truth. sometimes, not yielding to this desire unless the patient requests it, and trying to discuss and allay the family’s fears of the effect of the patient’s openness on his psychological state.

The gradual announcement of bad news and the choice of the appropriate time, place and method to announce it are of great importance.

He added: “It is better for the doctor to respect the patient’s desire, which can range from knowing the whole truth or knowing the amount he wants, or sometimes delegating the family or one of their members to know and tell the truth about his condition. condition.”

For his part, Dr. Adel Sajwani, consultant in family medicine, said: “The duty of the doctor is to inform the patient of all his medical history, even if some news is negative, such as the discovery of cancers and chronic diseases. or infectious. The patient has the right to know them fully.”

He added: “The doctor must have the skills to communicate information to the patient in a way that does not harm his mental health or affect him negatively”, pointing out that “hiding certain things from the patient has consequences negative that will be revealed sooner or later.” At the same time, the doctor should not rush to diagnose the patient until he has carefully reviewed all medical examinations and reports.

He pointed out that some doctors make an early diagnosis of the disease once they see the symptoms, which can negatively affect the patient and can lead to major health problems and health and financial consequences.

For her part, the clinical psychologist of Al-Amal Hospital in Dubai, Dr. Laila Al-Mulla, confirmed that transparency between the doctor and his patients should be the basis of the relationship, but the doctor’s method of transmitting information can be a cure. or a disease.

Al-Mulla pointed out that “the patient’s knowledge of the nature of his health condition is a professional and moral right”, but it must be done under special controls, because “the patient’s psychological state affects negatively and positively the strength of the immune system which deals with disease in general.

And she stressed the need to always consider the positive side in the transfer of information, whether from doctor to patient or from patient to patient, and the doctor may neglect to disclose the truth. on the patient’s state of health if he feels that his psychological state is unstable and informs his family instead.

He stressed the importance of taking into account the psychological aspect of the patient during the stage of his treatment, because it greatly affects the body’s immune system, by strength or weakness, therefore transparency and frankness on the nature of the disease should be based on checks in all cases.








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