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Knowledge and practice of clinical ethics among healthcare providers in a government hospital, Chennai

Thilakavathi Subramanian, A K Mathai, Nandini Kumar

DOI: 10.20529/IJME.2013.029


The growing public concern about the ethical conduct of healthcare professionals highlights the need to incorporate clinical ethics in medical education. This study examined the knowledge and practice of clinical ethics among healthcare providers in a government hospital in Chennai. A sample of 51 treating physicians and 58 other non-physician service providers from the hospital answered a self-administered, semi-structured questionnaire on their knowledge of and adherence to ethical principles, and the problems they faced related to healthcare ethics. More than 30% did not give a definition of healthcare ethics, and 40% did not name a single ethical principle. 51% stated that they witnessed ethical problems in their settings and named patient dissatisfaction, gender bias by provider, and not maintaining confidentiality. The responses of healthcare providers to various ethical scenarios are reported.

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