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ETHICS IN MEDICAL PROFESSION: PARTICIPANTS LASH AT YOUNG DOCTORS, NURSES

By NBF News
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Okpala
Participants in this year's Ethics Forum organised by Rotary Club, Amuwo, have blamed young medical doctors and nurses for poor ethics in the medical profession.

Speaking on this year's theme: Ethics in Medical Profession, Chairman, Medical and Dental Consultants, Lagos State chapter, Dr Godwin Akabua, said a patient must register with a hospital to establish a relationship with a doctor. 'Once you are registered, you can hold a doctor liable for any lapse. As a patient, you have the right to know what is wrong with you.

You have the right to access you file, you have the right to know that your privacy is protected, and you have the right to either give consent or not before a doctor can carry out an operation on you. These rights are borne from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But there are instances where these rights are limited,' he said.

He said the problem with young doctors and some nurses not adhering to some of these ethics in the profession is not restricted to the medical profession alone, as he called on all to help improve the profession. 'The public too should not leave the development of this country in the hands of a few. If as a patient you are ill treated in a hospital, report such matter to the appropriate authority and disciplinary actions will be taken immediately. The problem is that people hardly report bad treatments. Where a case is reported and the doctor is found guilty by the appropriate panel, action is taken immediately,' he said.

Chief Matron, General Hospital, Ikorodu, Cole Adebukola said both personal and professional ethics play important roles in the nursing profession.

She said as a qualified nurse, you are guided by the Florence Nightingale pledge of 1893, where you swear to an oath to abide by the ethics of the profession. In his welcome address, Rotary Amuwo President, Engr. Chris Okpala said every year in October is celebrated as a vocational month and 'we focus on ethics in professions. We have high ethical standards in our businesses and professions and the worthiness of all useful occupations to serve society is based on the observance of these ethics. We organize Ethics Forum in any chosen profession to expose the ills and corner cutting to the detriment of the society.'

Most participants who spoke at the event said the problem in the profession lies with young doctors who just left medical school, having no knowledge of what life is all about. They said the nurses are the worse as they treat patients like prisoners. They called for a re-orientation of the medical profession, while the participants gave thumbs up to doctors that have been in the profession for many years.