Truth telling in reproductive medicine

Truth telling in reproductive medicine

VOLUME 116, ISSUE 6, P1464-1465


Robert J. Norman, M.D.


The concept of truth telling is now widely accepted in end-of-life care and oncology and has been defined as the communication of what is known or believed to be true without deceit or falseness (1). Increasingly, it is being seen as a basic moral principle or value in several branches of medicine reflecting the change in the traditional relationship between the charismatic sole practising doctor and a sick passive patient. There currently is a considerable emphasis on informed consent, so an objective patient has enough information to agree to medical treatment (2). However, the disparity between a benevolent authority and the preservation of the patient’s autonomy is difficult to resolve in many situations where there is a considerable knowledge gap and the patient is likely to be in a vulnerable emotional situation, aggravating both the power asymmetry and the capacity to process information (3).

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