Guidelines will ease docs' fears about unfair punishment

Panel's recommendation will also ensure that doctors don't practise defensive medicine

The Workgroup set up to review the taking of informed consent and the Singapore Medical Council’s disciplinary processes has completed its review and come up with its final recommendations. PHOTO: ST FILE
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A workgroup's recommendation that guidelines be set on what doctors need to tell patients about common procedures would assuage doctors' concerns that they would be unfairly punished if complications occurred, and prevent them from recommending more procedures or medication than necessary to protect themselves.

"In the past, patients would just listen to their doctor's advice. Now, patients have greater expectations as they can access information online, even if it's not applicable to their condition," said Dr Tan Yia Swam, a 39-year-old breast surgeon in private practice and the vice-president of the Singapore Medical Association.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 04, 2019, with the headline Guidelines will ease docs' fears about unfair punishment. Subscribe