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General Guide

These guidelines are intended to enhance doctor-patient communication. they reflect good medical practice and should encourage co-operation and improved health Outcomes.

They cover:
  • The type of information which should be given to patients;
  • The particular need to give information about potential risks, as well as benefits, Of a proposed medical intervention;
  • The manner in which information should be given; and
  • Circumstances where withholding information may be justified.

The guidelines are based on the general principle that patients are entitled to make their own decisions about medical treatments or procedures and should be Given adequate information on which to base those decisions.

Information should be provided in a form and manner which help patients Understand the problem and treatment options available, and which are appropriate To the patient’s circumstances, personality, expectations, fears, beliefs, values and Cultural background.

Doctors should give advice. There should be no coercion, and the patient is free to accept or reject the advice.

Patients should be encouraged to make their own decisions.

Patients should be frank and honest in giving information about their health, and doctors should encourage them to be so.

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