Blum Bennett MDBlum Bennett MD
Doctors and "Undue Influence"

Medical misconduct?


"Informed consent" is a critical component of ethical medical care, and recent legal decisions require that physicians ensure that their patients have all the relevant information when making health-care decisions.  Factors that impede informed consent include: providing false or misleading information; the possible diminished capacity of the patient; and whether the decision is the result of undue influence.  These issues are especially prevalent when the patient (or decision maker) is elderly, or when matters involve life-threatening or end-of-life decisions. 


Another matter of importance for physicians is the ability to maintain an appropriate doctor-patient relationship.  Physicians who abuse or exploit relationships with patients are not only associated with a greater likelihood of medical mistakes, but also may be directly causing harm.  Medical schools, in an attempt to combat the problem, offer specific instruction in how to create and maintain professional doctor-patient relationships - and basic licensure testing now requires that new physicians demonstrate these skills.  A physician who behaves offensively may face complaints before the Board of Medical Examiners and possible civil litigation.


Whether it is a matter of informed consent or other betrayal of the doctor-patient relationship, it may be helpful to have knowledge of manipulation tactics, undue influence, and the models for assessment.  An expert in these areas may be able to help hasten resolution.


Contact us for more information.

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