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Revista médica de Chile

versión impresa ISSN 0034-9887


BECA I, Juan Pablo  y  SALAS I, Sofía P.. Medicine in television: An ethical problem?. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2004, vol.132, n.7, pp.881-885. ISSN 0034-9887.

Television programs where medical procedures are shown with progressive realism generate problems that physicians need to know and analyze. The authors analyze this issue, based on the respect to patient's dignity and the principles of bioethics. Medical programs on TV present specific problems to the different agents involved in them: TV media, physicians, health organization, public and patients or relatives that are exposed. Physicians have the responsibility to educate the society using the most efficient methods of public communication, including television. The problem is not how much can be shown but how to do it, making sure that the dignity of patients, the privacy of their stories and their own and their relative's feelings are always strictly cherished. The respect towards the patient is accomplished through a valid informed consent, the reverence to his face as an expression of his personhood, and the way in which his body is exposed. The authors conclude that TV programs on health and medical subjects are valuable methods to educate society and that physicians, in their function of social educators, should take part in them truly reassuring the respect to patient's dignity and to the bioethical principles of beneficence, autonomy and justice. (Rev Méd Chile 2004; 132: 881-5)

Palabras clave : Communications media; Ethics, medical; Mass media; Television.

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