A study published last week in the British Medical Journal finds that half of US doctors prescribe placebos to their patients, instead of drugs necessary for their treatment. These placebos, the survey explains, are sometimes vitamins or drugs that will not help the patients’ conditions. Moreover, the survey finds that many of the physicians are engaging in these practices without the knowledge of their patients, contravening American Medical Association recommendations, which advocate that patients be given full knowledge of treatments that they are given, and potentially constituting medical malpractice.
Patients have the right to determine what they want they want done to their bodies. Before administering treatment or performing a medical procedure, a physician is required to provide his or her patient with adequate information about the treatment or procedure and the risks and benefits associated with it in order for the patient to give his or her informed consent. Failing to provide this information results in a lack of informed consent. If this failure causes the patient to suffer a personal injury or death, the doctor can be found liable for medical malpractice.
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