Provoking Nonepileptic Seizures: The Ethics of Deceptive Diagnostic Testing
Burack, Jeffrey H.
Back, Anthony L.
Pearlman, Robert A.
Hastings Center Report. 1997 Jul-Aug; 27(4): 24-33.
The use of deception in medical care is highly suspect in this country. Yet there is one condition for which deception is often used as a diagnostic tool. Nonepileptic seizures, a psychiatric condition in which emotional or psychological conflicts manifest themselves unconsciously through bodily symptoms, are currently diagnosed by a procedure called "provocative saline infusion." The test is fundamentally deceptive, requiring the physician to intentionally and directly lie to the patient, causing the patient to believe that the administered solution caused his seizures. Without such deception, the test might be useless.
Alternatives; Autonomy; Behavior Disorders; Consent; Deception; Diagnosis; Disclosure; Epilepsy; Ethics; Informed Consent; Internship and Residency; Motivation; Paternalism; Patient Care; Patients; Physician Patient Relationship; Physicians; Placebos; Psychiatric Diagnosis; Risks and Benefits; Residency; Stigmatization; Truth Disclosure;
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