Views & Reviews From the Frontline

Doctors should stop supporting unethical screening

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d4592 (Published 20 July 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d4592
  1. Margaret McCartney, general practitioner, Glasgow
  1. margaret@margaretmccartney.com

We are in serious trouble over screening. For all that medicine has cringed at paternalism and “doctor knows best,” has wrung its collective hands, and promised to do better, screening is still the last great preserve of unethical practice.

If you are about to have a small skin tag removed, a quick procedure with low risk of hazards and complications, you have to give your written consent. The doctor must explain the procedure and potential hazards; the patient must understand and agree before anything is done. You are an adult, properly informed by your personal doctor, and free …

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