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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Ten ethical dilemmas of 2016 – what would you do?

Pulse runs through the most-read ethical dilemmas of the year 

bladder pains consultation 3x2

bladder pains consultation 3x2

A patient won’t see a ‘non-white’ GP

A patient asks for an appointment, but when told which GP they are seeing, they say they won’t accept a ‘non-white’ GP. What should we do at the practice?

Can I insist patients get vitamin D over the counter?

If a patient comes to me and asks to get vitamin D on the NHS, can you insist they get it over the counter?

Can we issue private prescriptions to NHS patients?

Three experts advise a GP who is wondering whether he can help patients save money by sometimes prescribing on a private basis.

Do I have to refer a patient for homeopathy? 

A patient with disseminated malignancy has asked for referral to a hospital for integrated care with a view to homeopathy. I don’t believe homeopathy is an effective treatment or in her best interest. How should I respond?

Do we continue prescribing BP drugs without review?

Three experts advise on whether a GP should stop the medication of a patient who repeatedly fails to attend the practice. 

What do I do if a patient forges a sick note?

I have discovered that one of my patients has forged my signature on a sick note. What do I do?

Can I allow access to a deceased patient’s notes?

A family member of one of my patients who has recently died wants to see the deceased patient’s medical record. Should I give it to them?

How do I encourage a patient to see our pharmacist?

Four experts advise a GP whose patients are showing reluctance to see their new practice pharmacist.

Do I have to record drug taking in a patient’s notes?

A patient doesn’t want me to document a history of cannabis smoking in their notes. How should I respond?

How should we respond to negative comments on social media?

Our practice has been receiving negative comments on social media. How should we deal with this?

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Azeem Majeed

    Thank you. A very interesting range of ethical and clinical dilemmas.

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