Should Doctors Treat Family Members?

My latest CNN.com blog article:

Imagine you are a highly skilled surgeon. Then imagine that your grandson gets into a terrible car accident and suffers serious internal injuries.

The injuries are so severe that he needs a physician to operate on him immediately. Even though a qualified surgeon is ready, willing and able to perform his surgery, do you ask that surgeon to step aside and operate on your grandson yourself?

This was a dilemma that a colleague of mine encountered several years ago. At this moment of crisis, he faced the choice that physicians face all the time: Do you give medical care to your family members or leave it up to other doctors?

Not wanting to put Joey’s life into another surgeon’s hands, Dr. Sanders decided to operate on his grandson himself.

Joey died several hours later in the operating room.

A 1991 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that 99% of the 465 physicians surveyed received requests from family members for medical advice, diagnosis and treatment.  Eighty-three percent  prescribed medications for a family member, 80% diagnosed medical illnesses, 72% performed physical examinations, 15% acted as a family member’s primary doctor, and 9% performed surgery on a family member.

Bottom line: physicians often treat family members. But does that make it right?

To read the rest of the article, click HERE!

 

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Posted in: Dr. Anthony Youn in the Media

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