Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Observations Ethics Man

What to tell junior doctors about ethics

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c2489 (Published 12 May 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c2489

Rapid Response:

Core Medical Training

Greater emphasis should be placed upon teaching medical law and
ethics at an
undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Issues surounding end-of life decision-making, consent,
confidentiality and the
legal rights of patients to demand treatments, place medical law at the
centre of
the clinical domain. The growth of clinical negligence and clinical
governance
have necessitated a more legalistic approach to clinical practice.
Developing
more effective legal reasoning skills will be essential for all doctors in
the
future.

The increasing availability of life sustaining treatments, genetic
advances, organ
transplantation and assisted reproduction and the realities of healthcare
rationing inevitably cause ethical dilemmas. Fostering higher level
ethical
reasoning would clearly inform decison-making in these challenging areas.

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

13 May 2010
Ben J Thomas
SpR Renal Medicine
university of Wales Hospital Cardiff CF14 4XW