Vol. 10 - Num. 39
Marta Sánchez Jacoba, Isolina Riaño Galánb, Carmen Martínez Gonzálezc
aPediatra. CS La Victoria. Valladolid. España.
bPediatra. Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias. Facultad de Medicina y Ciencias de la Salud. Universidad de Oviedo. Oviedo. Asturias. España.
cPediatra. CS Villablanca. Madrid. España.
Correspondence: M Sánchez. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Reference of this article: Sánchez Jacob M, Riaño Galán I, Martínez González C. Evaluation of the legal and ethical knowledge of physicians in relation to the adolescent. Rev Pediatr Aten Primaria. 2008;10:443-56.
Published in Internet: 30-09-2008 - Visits: 7898
Introduction: adequate healthcare of the adolescent minor requires the physician to be familiar with the mature minor doctrine and to be sensitive to patients? rights. The 41/2002 Act regulating patient autonomy (LBAP) defends the patient?s right to information, consent and confidentiality. Conscious of the lack of a standard approach to medical scenarios in which the evaluation of a minor?s capacity is required, we decided to design this study in order to find out physicians? opinion of this issue.
Materials and methods: multicentric study using an anonymous survey of 400 Primary Care and Hospital-based Specialist physicians. It comprises 13 closed questions aimed at assessing knowledge, approaches and attitudes when treating adolescents of 12-18 years of age.
Results: physicians? knowledge of Act 41/2002 (LBAP) are very limited: 25% of those surveyed know the legal age of majority for health issues while 34% know that the patient?s doctor is the person ultimately responsible for assessing patient maturity. Eight point five percent have detailed knowledge of the mature minor doctrine. Only 23.6% require the minor to sign informed consent. Seventy-three percent state that they find no difficulty in thinking of minors as being potentially mature and the same number are able to carry out a rational discussion with minors in the event of a conflict of interests.
Conclusions: it is necessary to extend physicians? knowledge of the legal and ethical issues involved in healthcare and it would be advisable to make the teaching of Bioethics more widespread.
Keywords● Capacity ● Consent ● Legislation ● Mature minor
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