Reasons for and against Telling Patients the Truth Concerning their Medical Condition
One of the reasons why it is important to tell patients the truth is the fact that lying acts as a barrier to the patient from making an informed independent decision concerning their health condition. The decisions made in this case ends up not being personally meaningful to the patient.
In addition to this, it also breaks the trust that the patient has put on the doctor in the event that they find out they have been deceived about their medical condition. This puts the doctor in a position where they cannot be trusted in the future as he interacts with other patients. Consequently other reasons include the fact that most patients normally want to know their real medical condition. Lying is also an act that is impractical in the sense that once you lie to one patient you will automatically do it for others thus creating a long chain of deceit.
Reason why sometimes doctors lie is because some patients normally portray characters that are self defeating and may end up being suicidal. Doctors in others go against their professional code of conduct to lie to patients so as to benefit financially from the victims condition. In this case they can lie to a patient so as to conduct more medical tests or influence them to use a certain drug. Patients with serious medical conditions are also lied to in order to give them hope that their condition is manageable, also, in medical processes that are painful they can be lied to in order to give them confidence.
In conclusion the opportunity cost of lying to patients is higher than telling the truth, hence doctors should practice honesty most of the time and only lie when they have no other option.