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Medical Law and Ethics - Ch. 1

Terms in this set (75)

While professional codes of ethics focus on the protection of the patient and his or her right to appropriate, competent, and humane treatment, etiquette refers to standards of behavior that are considered good manners. Every culture has its own ideas of common courtesy. Behavior considered good manners in one culture may be bad manners in another. For example, in some Middle Eastern countries, it is extremely discourteous for one male acquaintance to ask another, "How is your wife?" In Western culture, such a question is well received. Similarly, within nearly every profession, there are recognized practices considered to be good manners for members.

*Most health care facilities have their own policies concerning professional etiquette that staff members are expected to follow. Policy manuals written especially for the facility can serve as permanent records and as guidelines for employees in these matters.

*By the same token, health care practitioners are expected to know protocol, standard rules of etiquette applicable specifically to their place of employment. For example, when another physician telephones, does the receptionist put the call through without delay? What is the protocol in the diagnostic testing office when the technicians get behind because of a late patient or a repair to an X-ray machine?

*Within the health care environment, all health care practitioners are, of course, expected to treat patients with the same respect and courtesy afforded others in the course of day-to-day living. Politeness and appropriate dress are mandatory.