4,100 physicians on 2022's toughest ethical issues: 6 findings

A Medscape report published Nov. 2 shows where physicians stand on some of the year's toughest medical questions surrounding patient care, COVID-19 misinformation and employer relationships. 

Medscape surveyed 4,151 U.S. physicians in 32 specialties nationwide between April 20 and July 18. 

Six findings:

1. Seventeen percent of physicians said they would undertreat a patient's pain because of concerns over action from their state medical board or the Drug Enforcement Administration. This figure is up from 6 percent in 2010. 

2. Fifty-one percent said physicians should speak out publicly if their employers don't provide necessary resources, such as personal protective equipment. 

3. Seventy-seven percent of physicians said they would reveal a potentially harmful medical mistake to a patient.

4. About half (52 percent) said physician-assisted dying should be legal for terminally ill patients. 

5. Seventy-nine percent said physicians should speak out against COVID-19 misinformation from government or elected officials. 

6. Sixty-nine percent said physicians' unprofessional social media posts are not unethical if they are unrelated to medical practice.

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