”MEDICINE , LAW AND ETHICS : IS THERE A MEETING POINT ? THE ROLE OF THE SURGEON”

164th

Medical ethics is a system of moral principles that apply values
to the practice of clinical medicine and in scientific research. Medical
ethics is based on a set of values that professionals can refer to in
the case of any confusion or conflict. These values include the respect
for autonomy, non-maleficence, beneficence, and justice.
Such tenets may allow doctors, care providers, and families to create a
treatment plan and work towards the same common goal without any
conflict. It is important to note that these four values are non-hierarchical, meaning no one principle routinely “trumps” another.
MEDICAL MALPRACTICE
Failure to exercise the skill or act with the degree of care expected of a medical doctor with respect to his experience and status.
What constitutes medical malpractice in a contemporary society was summarised in a paper I titled “When the patient has been mismanaged: what next?” (Osime, 2014)
The pitfall of wrongly applying Widal test was illustrated with the case of a young man who nearly lost his life while being treated for “typhoid fever” because of a positive Widal test. We eventually discovered he had ruptured appendix. (Osime and Momoh, 2001). The action of the first doctors could be seen as malpractice.
It is to be noted that apparently healthy individuals can have high titers for widal test (Osime and Eghafona, 2003).
Typhoid fever; particularly the complications, is not as common as it is presented to be. Over a 26 year period in UBTH we recorded only 24 cases of typhoid perforation. Osime and Osifo, 2007)
In rare instances however, typhoid enteritis can result in severe morbidities including psychiatric complications (Osime and Irowa, 2011).
The caveat therefore is that to avoid mismanagement of patients (medical malpractice) the clinician should carefully examine the patients and treat the patient accordingly and not treating laboratory results.

Faculty/Institute/Center: 
Department: 
Medicine
Date Of Lecture: 
Thursday, December 17, 2015
First Name: 
Clement
Middle Name: 
Odigie
Last Name: 
Osime
Sex: 
Male