A medical provider has specific duties regarding their patient. If they breach any of their duties, it can have legal repercussions. For example, an action for negligence can be initiated against the doctor if they neglect any of their duties. Every physician’s duty covers their actions as well as their orders and instructions to the nurses, medical students, the staff, or the company which is providing them the
Duty to Diagnose the Patients
The physicians and medical providers have to diagnose the patient appropriately. They have to take proper steps for this reason. They have to make the right diagnosis. They must then provide treatment accordingly and follow-up on their patients’ progress. The doctor is duty-bound to obtain earlier informed consent from the patient before carrying out diagnostic tests and treatment. The provider should inform the patient about the diagnosis so the patient can understand it comfortably.
Duty to treat the patients
The doctors are trained for years to treat patients with different diseases properly. It is their foremost duty to treat the patients attentively and conscientiously. They ought to treat the patients with complete specialization. If they have any doubt regarding the patients’ treatment, they must take the assistance of the other doctors or refer them to another specialist. They must take the following steps to treat the patients well:
- The providers should recommend the right medications.
- The providers should tell the patients about the merits and demerits, risks, alternatives regarding the treatment or surgery.
- The provider should offer adequate follow up to the patient within a reasonable time.
Duty to Respect the Privacy
The doctors have the responsibility of professional secrecy towards their patients. They should always respect the privacy of the patients that came to their clinic. The doctors are duty-bound to keep all the facts related to their patients to secure the doctor-patient relationship. Hence, the professional secrecy goes to the patient only. The physicians cannot reveal the facts that their patients have told them unless the patients allow it. The doctors can exclusively disclose the information if they have significant and fair reasons to do accordingly. For example, the providers can deliver the information to theif needed.
Duty to Provide Information
The physicians must provide the correct and authentic information to their patients to take further steps accordingly. They ought to give the complete information to their patients about:
- Nature, target, and seriousness of the treatment
- Other treatment choices
They must also answer all the questions of the patients. The duty of information of a physician is towards:
- The patient
- The people who take decisions on behalf of the patient
- The parents of the children under the age of 14
The doctor should keep the condition of their patients in mind and tell them about the risks. It also includes the foreseeable risks, which have a greater chance of occurrence. The providers must tell the patient about the adverse effects of the treatment. The duty of providing complete information to the patient extends to the circumstances and the patient in question.