Survey: Some physicians not always completely honest with patients

NBC Nightly News reported that “a new survey shows more than half of all doctors admit they haven’t told patients the whole truth when discussing a prognosis.” The AP reports, however, that “the survey, by Massachusetts researchers and published in Health Affairs, doesn’t explain why, or what wasn’t true.”

The Los Angeles Times “Booster Shots” blog reports that, in the “nationwide survey of roughly 1,800 physicians, 17% had some level of disagreement with the notion that they should ‘never tell a patient something that is not true.'”

Meanwhile, “11% of those surveyed acknowledged that they had told a patient ‘something that was not true’ in the past year.”

The Washington Post “Wonkblog” reports, “As for who lies, the team of Massachusetts researchers did find some trends: Male doctors tended to be more likely to tell patients untruths, as did those who graduated from medical schools outside of the United States and Canada.”

The Baltimore Sun “Picture of Health” blog reports that almost “20 percent of physicians surveyed said they had not fully disclosed an error to a patient in the previous year because they feared a malpractice case.”

Physicians “feared lawsuits even though research has shown prompt disclosure cuts down on malpractice cases.”

The ABC News “Medical Unit” blog reports that “more than half of the doctors also said they did not tell their patients about all the risks or benefits of specific medical procedures.”

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