Categorisation of Alternatives
This book formulates the term “alternatives” in a wide fashion. It is categorised into four groups: (1) available treatment options; (2) legally, financially or geographically unavailable treatment options; (3) alternative providers; (4) choices between conventional medicine and CAM. First, the majority of “alternatives” are “treatment options”. Second, treatment options, which are medically available, may in fact be unavailable because of non-medical (legal, financial and geographical) factors. That raises the issue of whether to disclose legally, financially or geographically unavailable treatment options. Third, a doctor’s inexperience in performing a complex procedure might expose the patient to additional risks, leading to the notion that a patient has a right to be informed of the option of having the procedure performed by alternative (more experienced) practitioners or in a better-equipped and better-staffed institution. Fourth, with the increasing prevalence of CAM, there is a pressing issue of whether a practitioner has a duty to inform about alternative therapies that are beyond the scope of their variety of “medicine”.
KeywordsInformation Disclosure Civil Liability Alternative Provider Ontario Health Insurance Plan Experienced Provider
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