How to take a sexual history

Some patients may not be comfortable talking about their sexual history, sex partners, or sexual practices, but detailed knowledge of these aspects of their lives is sometimes required, and doctors must know how to approach the subject.

Recording without consent

Advances in technology mean that it is now possible for patients to record and video consultations on their mobile phones with ease. This can be done overtly with prior discussion with the doctor or covertly without permission.

Chaperones for intimate examinations

Where any intimate examination is proposed, a chaperone should always be offered, particularly if a patient has been sedated, even if the doctor and patient are of the same sex, says Gabrielle Pendlebury, Medicolegal Consultant at Medical Protection.

Duty of care

It is not only medical practitioners who owe a duty of care to their patients in conducting themselves with reasonable skill and care, but also administrative staff at hospitals and doctors’ rooms.

Patient autonomy and informed consent

Informed consent is one of the key components of ethical patient care and it is vital that medical practitioners understand the requirements of the law in this regard.

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Achieving a satisfactory outcome with a difficult patient

Interactions can be challenging for a number of reasons and these reasons can be grouped into the following: patient, doctor, disease, and system, says Dr Gabrielle Pendlebury, medicolegal consultant at Medical Protection.

Employees: rights and obligations in the medical practice

When employing staff in your rooms it is always advisable to have a written agreement signed to indicate that both parties accept certain terms and conditions as negotiated/ agreed upon between the two parties.

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Dealing ethically with medical waste

In disposing of medical waste, healthcare practitioners need to consider their ethical and professional obligations and be willing to provide evidence of compliance, if needed.

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Medical records and POPI

The fundamental right to privacy is included in the Constitution and this underpins current and future legislation in protecting the patient.

Does GDPR apply to your patients?

General Data Protection Regulation is an international regulation.

How to manage an HIV-positive patient

In SA, many citizens are affected by HIV/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome and access to treatment, fairness in the workplace and the right to privacy are issues which have been debated for many years.