Perceptions and practices of medical practitioners towards ethics in medical practice - A study from coastal South India

B. Unnikrishnan, Tanuj Kanchan, Vaman Kulkarni, Nithin Kumar, Mohan Kumar Papanna, T. Rekha, Prasanna Mithra

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Ethics is the application of values and moral rules to human activities. Medical practitioners are expected to not only have the skills and knowledge relevant to their field but also with the ethical and legal expectations that arise out of the standard practices. The present research was conducted with an aim to study the perceptions and practices of medical practitioners towards healthcare ethics in Indian scenario and to strengthen the evidence in the field of ethics training. A cross-sectional study was carried out in three associate hospitals of a Medical College in Southern India. Medical practitioners included in the study were administered a pre-tested, semi-structured questionnaire. Data was collected based on their responses on a 5 point Likert scale and analyzed using SPSS version 11.5. The majority of the participants mentioned that their perceptions of ethics in medical practice were based on information obtained during their undergraduate training, followed by experience at work. The medical practitioners had a positive perception on issues relating to consent in medical practice. However, the same degree of perception was not observed for issues related to confidentiality and their dealing with patients during emergency conditions. The majority of the medical practitioners agreed that ethical conduct is important to avoid legal and disciplinary actions. Among the medical practitioners, the responses of specialists and non-specialists were mostly similar with major differences of opinion for a few issues. A highest level of knowledge, awareness and understanding of ethics are expected in medical practice as it is the foundation of sound healthcare delivery system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-56
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 02-2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law


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