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Revista médica de Chile

versión impresa ISSN 0034-9887


VACAREZZA Y, Ricardo. About patient’s rights. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2000, vol.128, n.12, pp.1380-1384. ISSN 0034-9887.

This article discusses the difficulties and requirements to accomplish medical obligations of veracity, confidentiality, fidelity and respect to intimacy. Veracity consists in not saying all what we think but nothing contrary to our thoughts. In the fields of terminal care and genetics, conflicts arise between the right to veracity and the principles of beneficence and avoiding harm. The so called "therapeutic privilege" or the right of physicians to withhold information, has been considered among the exceptions to informed consent and is rejected by some specialists in ethics. Confidentiality is, for many people, an ideal more than a reality, not fulfilled by many physicians in the full sense of the word and threatened by third parties. Patients should claim their right to confidentiality. The obligation of loyalty or fidelity, that is the obligation that physicians have to give priority to patient’s needs over own needs, has generated divided loyalties in many fields of medical practice due to changes in health organization and social context. The right to territorial, body and psychological or spiritual intimacy are three aspects of the right to intimacy that must be considered. Maybe, patient’s rights are just the other face of medical obligations towards them. If we physicians become defenders of patient’s rights, this could be another subtle facet of paternalism. (Rev Méd Chile 2000; 128: 1380-84).

Palabras clave : Confidentiality; Patients rights.

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