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Compliance with the wishes of competent patients among future physicians and lawyers: is paternalism a predictable individual or group-specific trait?

Published in Medical Teacher. 2004, vol. 26, no. 5, p. 458-62
Abstract A total of 127 fifth-year medical students and 167 first- to fourth-year law students filled in questionnaires composed of 10 hypothetical scenarios, in which competent patients clearly expressed their particular wish, so that not complying with their wishes for reasons referring to the patient's good would have to be characterized as 'hard paternalism'. In most scenarios, attitudes of law and medical students differed significantly. Medical students showed more paternalistic attitudes than law students in the scenarios describing a patient's request for information about prognosis (p = 0.0003), a terminally ill patient's request to stop mechanical ventilation (p = 0.03), and an AIDS patient's request for a potentially harmful experimental drug (p = 0.05). Compliance with the desire of a Jehovah's Witness not to receive a life-saving blood transfusion predicted less paternalistic responses in almost all other cases. The existence of a paternalistic trait in responses is confirmed. However, the trait explains only 20% of variance.
Keywords Decision MakingEducation, Medical, GraduateHumansLawyersPaternalism/ethicsPatient SatisfactionPhysician-Patient RelationsPhysiciansQuestionnairesSwitzerland
Stable URL https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:1359
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PMID: 15369887

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Deposited on : 2009-04-25

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