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Reflections

On the other side of the bedside: a cautionary tale

Anonymous

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Abstract

When a doctor is related to the patient, their medical opinion may be dismissed as biased or irrational. Can there be no way to use their clinical expertise, a doctor asks.

Article Extract

As a doctor for over 35 years and a specialist physician, I have often been asked for a medical opinion by people I meet socially or through work. There has been the odd success story and, of course, many failures. Most opinions were ignored – they were free, after all. The fact that full formal assessment, including examination, is not possible does make these situations tricky, and the sages would be quick to advise against giving these opinions. Not having clinical and legal validity can also make things difficult for both the doctor and the patient.

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