Doctor's Views About the Importance of Shared Values in HIV Positive Patient Care: A Qualitative Study
Journal of Medical Ethics 2004 December; 30(6): 539-543
Robert Veatch has proposed a model of the doctor-patient relationship that has as its foundation the sharing of values between the doctor and the patient. This paper uses qualitative research conducted with six doctors involved in the long term, specialised care of HIV positive patients in South Australia to explore the practical application of Veatch's value sharing model in that setting. The research found that the doctors in this study linked "values" with sexual identity such that they defined value sharing, in part, as a shared set of values and beliefs about sexual identity and practices. They voluntarily identified themselves as either homosexual or heterosexual and they regarded the relation between their own sexual identity and that of their patients as important for the provision of quality care. None of the doctors thought that value sharing, in the way they defined it, was essential to the clinical relationship, but the homosexual doctors attributed a greater degree of importance to it than their heterosexual colleagues.
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