ORIGINAL PAPER
Ethical issues in the treatment of tuberculosis: Knowledge and attitudes of health professionals in three Greek hospitals
 
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1
Sociologist
2
Associate Professor, Dept of Pneumonology and Infectious Diseases, “G. Papanikolaou” Hospital, Thesssaloniki
3
Statistician, Senior Lecturer, Dept of Epidemiology, National School of Public Health, Athens
4
ΒΑ, MSc, PhD, Post-doc Researcher, University of Athens. Research Assistant, Dept of Public Health, National School of Public Health, Athens
5
Lawyer, Senior Lecturer, Dept of Public Health, National School of Public Health, Athens
 
Pneumon 2015;28(4):360–368
 
KEYWORDS
Dimakou Aikaterini. 152 Mesogion Ave., 11527 Athens, Greece. E-mail: kdimakou@yahoo.com

ABSTRACT
Aim:
This study aimed to investigate the attitudes and knowledge of health professionals with regard to the ethical issues arising in the treatment of tuberculosis patients.

Methods:
The research was carried out with the use of a questionnaire to a sample of n=105 health professionals.

Results:
61.9% of the respondents have knowledge of the WHO Guidance document. 41.9% are cautious regarding consent. 47.2% believe that patients reach erroneous a decisions because of insufficient prior information. As far as communication with foreign patients is concerned, there is no systematic practice. 89.5% inform the patient’s family regarding her health conditions as well as the risks arising from the disease and 63.5% informs the employer, if they know him. Non-compliance to treatment is attributed to low educational level of patients (71.8%), lack of social support (70.2%) and limited access to health services (68.3%). 41% believe that detention measures do not constitute a violation of human rights as the protection of public health always prevails. 94.3% believe that further education in ethics is required.

Conclusions:
The results (e.g. questioning the purpose of consent, violation protection of the patient’s privacy, abuses in disclosure of information to third parties and lack of systematic communication with non-native patients) reveal lack of organized management of the ethical aspects of TB. These issues require further investigation and continuing education of health professionals in Bioethics.

ABBREVIATIONS
WHO: World Health Organization
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
The authors have indicated no financial or other conflicts of interest.
 
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