Duty to speak up in the health care setting a professionalism and ethics analysis.

Rachel J. Topazian, C. Christopher Hook, Paul S. Mueller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Staff and students working in health care settings are sometimes reluctant to speak up when they perceive patients to be at risk for harm. In this article, we describe four incidents that occurred at our institution (Mayo Clinic). In two of them, health care professionals failed to speak up, which resulted in harm; in the other two, they did speak up, which prevented harm and improved patient care. We analyzed each scenario using the Physician's Charter on Medical Professionalism and prima facie ethics principles to determine whether principles were violated or upheld. We conclude that anyone who works in a health care setting has a duty to speak up when a patient faces harm. We also provide guidance for health care institutions on promoting a culture in which speaking up is encouraged and integrated into routine practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-43
Number of pages4
JournalUnknown Journal
Volume96
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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