General Practice and Ethics: Uncertainty and Responsibility
The reorganization of general practice and the NHS mean that GPs now face many new and distinctive ethical dilemmas in their practice. With pressure on resources and an increasing concern to evaluate the outcomes of health care, GPs have additional responsibilities that could conflict with the primary objective of caring for the individual patient. This work explores the ethical issues that are encountered by GPs in their everyday practice, addressing two central themes: the uncertainty of outcomes and effectiveness in general practice; and the changing pattern of general practitioners' responsibilities. Among the topics examined are: the ethical implications of the use of evidence-based medicine in general practice; consent, autonomy and confidentiality in general practice; the history of patient-centredness; and research ethics in general practice.
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