Ethical issues in modern medical practice

One of the skills you will need these days if you become a doctor is some knowledge of medical ethics and medical law, and an ability to think reasonably and critically about medical ethics issues in general. The GMC, which controls medical education and medical standards in the UK, has specified that medical ethics and law should be part of the core curriculum for medical students. Some years ago, most medical school teachers of these subjects drew up a core curriculum outlining subjects that students should study during medical school. So, as a medical student, you will have to come to know the main professional and legal obligations of doctors in the UK and to get to grips with the following ethically and legally important subjects:

  • Informed consent and refusal of treatment.
  • Truthfulness, trust and good communications in the doctor–patient relationship.
  • Confidentiality and privacy.

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