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

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.

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

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.

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.

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