Honesty in Medicine: should doctors tell the truth?

Dr. James F. Drane

Full text here http://www.uchile.cl/portal/investigacion/centro-interdisciplinario-de-estudios-en-bioetica/publicaciones/76983/honesty-in-medicine-should-doctors-tell-the-truth

To become a truthful person we have to struggle first to know the truth. Then we have to struggle with personal prejudices which can distort any information we gather. We have to try to be objective. We have to work to correct a corrupting tendency to confuse one side of a story or one perspective of an event with the whole truth. And, finally, we have to recognize that self-aggrandizement corrupts the capacity to know the truth and to communicate anything except pathological, narcissistic interests. Truth for an egoist is reduced to what promotes his ego. The egoist cannot see the truth and therefore cannot tell it. The only thing which can be communicated is his or her own aggrandized self.

Knowing the truth and telling the truth is difficult enough without shadowing weak human capacities for virtues with narcissistic pathological shades. If we are self-deceived we cannot hope to avoid deception in what we disclose. Not to address pathological character distortions is to make lies inevitable.


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