Medical knowledge can make it difficult to be an objective relative, as Julie Sladden explains
- By: Julie Sladden
Many of us will have to face the ordeal of having a close relative in hospital. This is not pleasant for anyone and being medically trained can sometimes make the experience more difficult, rather than easier. How can you be a “good” relative without being, and being labelled, a “problem” or “interfering” relative? Should we ignore our medical training when we see our relative's care being compromised? How do we strike a balance between our head knowledge and our heart? There will always be a dilemma--but there are a few things you can do to help make the experience a more positive one.
The guidelines are clear. The GMC says that “Doctors should avoid treating themselves or close family members wherever possible”,1 and advice from the BMA ethics department states that “There are clearly some cases, such as in emergencies, in which such action would be reasonable, but as a