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American Journal of Public Health Research. 2014, 2(3), 99-102
DOI: 10.12691/ajphr-2-3-6
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Ethical Issues in Treating Self and Family Members

E. B. Anyanwu1, , Harrison O. Abedi2 and Efe A. Onohwakpor2

1Department of Family Medicine, Delta State University Teaching Hospital, Oghara, P.M.B. 07, Oghara, Nigeria

2Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Delta State University Teaching Hospital, Oghara, P.M.B. 07, Oghara, Nigeria

Pub. Date: May 07, 2014

Cite this paper:
E. B. Anyanwu, Harrison O. Abedi and Efe A. Onohwakpor. Ethical Issues in Treating Self and Family Members. American Journal of Public Health Research. 2014; 2(3):99-102. doi: 10.12691/ajphr-2-3-6


A trained health care provider principally offers care to ill-patients, offers advocacy to groups of persons, could be a passionate counsellor when needed, and may offer preventive services to individuals and communities at large. He is trained to alleviate the problem of sickness from patients. Therefore, a patient may just as well be the physician himself or may be his immediate family members who can fall ill and so needs the expertise of a doctor. The patient maybe a colleague, friend or employee who all maybe intimate with the physician but may need his services when they are ill. The challenge therefore, is when does the doctor stop doctoring a patient and transfer care to another doctor. What risks may show up if a doctor treats himself and close family members? Is it ethical for a doctor not to offer treatment solely on the ground that the patient is a close relation?

patient physician treatment family doctor ethics

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