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Br Med J (Clin Res Ed). 1983 Dec 24-31;287(6409):1919-23.

The critical attitude in medicine: the need for a new ethics.



Challenging an attitude toward fallibility in medical practice which they see as outdated and detrimental to patient care, the authors suggest a new approach to self-evaluation and peer review by physicians. Arguing that knowledge grows from recognition of error, they submit ten proposals aimed at the development of a new professional ethics that would encourage physicians to admit and analyze their errors; improve the quality of their records; and accept the idea of mutual, nonpejorative criticism. Unlike those who fear that this open approach would destroy patients' faith in their doctors, the authors believe it would strengthen the physician patient relationship.

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