In 1972, an investigatory panel was established which issued a report the following year and found that the study had been “ethically unjustified” and argued that penicillin should have been provided to the men.
74 of the test subjects were still alive
more than 100 had died directly from advanced syphilitic lesions
never addressed the question of how the study was undertaken in the 1st place and why it continued for 40 years.
A patient is being treated by you for a certain condition. He is from a different culture which uses alternative forms of treatment for this condition, treatment which you do not believe is effective, due mainly to lack of scientific evidence. Moreover, you believe that the alternative treatment might interfere with the standard treatment and cause the patient’s condition to worsen. Explain how you would handle this case?
You are a physician working in an intensive care unit with a capacity of five beds, four of which are occupied. You receive a call from the A&E where they have two patients needing ICU admission. The mother of one of those patients, whom you know, pleads with you to save her young son. The other patient, as you find out later is a foreigner with no relatives in the country. What would be the right action in this case?
In addition patients may choose among medically feasible alternatives . e.g. choosing whether to have an x-ray or choosing among several drugs for a condition do not implicate the patient's bodily integrity in a manner similar to surgery.
Physicians should still treat these patients as persons with individual characteristics, preferences, and values.
Decisions should respect their preferences and values as far as they are known.
In addition, all patients, whether autonomous or not should be treated with compassion and dignity. Thus respect for persons includes responding to the patient's suffering with caring, empathy, and attention.
In some case however, two Patients may compete for same limited resource such as physician time or a bed in intensive care. When this happens, physicians should ration their time and resources according to patient's medical needs and the probability and degree of benefit.