"It's 100% for me": hospital practitioners' perspectives on mandatory HIV testing.

Sheikh, K; Porter, JD; (2009) "It's 100% for me": hospital practitioners' perspectives on mandatory HIV testing. Indian journal of medical ethics, 6 (3). pp. 132-7. ISSN 0974-8466

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This article explores the thinking of medical practitioners working in nine hospitals spread across five cities in India, on a contested subject--mandatory HIV testing of patients prior to surgery. We used in-depth interviews with practitioners and an interpretive analytical approach to understand their decisions to conduct mandatory tests. While many in the public health community see mandatory testing as an unacceptable violation of patient autonomy, the practitioners widely regarded it as a valuable cost-saving innovation for obviating transmission of infection during surgery. These conceptions are rooted in the day-to-day logic of practice which defines practitioners' actions--imperative of personal security, investment in core occupational roles and the importance of harmonious relations with co-workers. The experiences of hospitals with contrasting policies on mandatory HIV testing shows how an approach that balances patients' needs with an appreciation of practitioners' perspectives may result in more workable solutions for field-level ethical dilemmas.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Clinical Research
Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Global Health and Development
PubMed ID: 19653588
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/5076


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