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Revista médica de Chile

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LEON R, Tomás; BEDREGAL, Paula  and  SHAND B, Beatriz. Ethical problems in medical services from the patients' point of view. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2009, vol.137, n.6, pp.759-765. ISSN 0034-9887.

Background: There is a paucity of information on the perception of patients about ethical issues in medical practice. Aim: To determine the type and frequency of ethical problems perceived by patients hospitalized in public and private hospitals. Material and methods: Eighty eight subjects aged 65years (48% women), admitted to a public hospital and 44 subjects aged 59 years (52% women) admitted to a private clinic answered a survey about ethical problems. The main issues covered were medical information management, participation in decision making and intimacy of patients. Results: Fifty three percent of patients perceived at least one ethical problem. Patients admitted to the public hospital perceived more communication and intimacy problems than their peers admitted to a private clinic. Conclusions: Approximately half of the interviewed patients acknowledged the presence of ethical problems, especially in the communication and intimacy areas).

Keywords : Confidentiality; Ethics; Physician-patient relations.

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