Legal, cultural and ethical considerations on the informing of the cancer patient: a perspective from Greece.


Kousathana, L; Kousathana, F; Karamanou, M; Kousoulis, AA; (2013) Legal, cultural and ethical considerations on the informing of the cancer patient: a perspective from Greece. Journal of BUON, 18 (3). pp. 795-7. ISSN 1107-0625

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Abstract

PURPOSE To discuss the current official legal position of the Greek Council and the official international statement on the subject, as well as the emerging cultural and moral aspects on the issue of informing the cancer patient. METHODS Perusal of national and international legal and ethics sources, under a multidisciplinary perspective. RESULTS According to the Council of State of Greece the violation of informing the patient by the physician constitutes urban liability and disciplinary offence. The Greek Code of Medical Ethics declares that the physician is obliged to inform his patient about his health and respect the desire of the patient who decides not to be informed. The UNESCO declaration does not seem to clarify the subject. In Greece, physicians have the tendency to tell the truth more often today than in the past, reflecting the global tendency, although the majority still discloses the truth to the next of kin. The difference in the tactics of informing in several nations reflects huge cultural, social, economic and religious differences in each society. CONCLUSION Well informed and knowledgeable health-care and legal professionals, alongside with patients and ethical directors, should sit at the same table in order to productively discuss the most sensitive matters of the contemporary medical practice.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Infectious Disease Epidemiology
PubMed ID: 24065501
Web of Science ID: 325232400038
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/2006131

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