Durham University’s Martyn Evans makes the comments as the Healthcare Commission publishes its ‘State of Healthcare’ annual report (10 December).
Professor Evans argues that patients should comply with ten moral duties, which require them to look after themselves and others around them, and to use the NHS in a responsible way.
People who neglect their health and the health of others around them, or who misuse the healthcare available to them are draining the NHS scarce resources, says the researcher.
Professor Evans, from Durham University’s School of Medicine and Health, says:
“Widespread behaviour that is adverse to health and to the effectiveness of the NHS, such as binge drinking and missing GP appointments, is on the increase. There is clearly a need to state more clearly the responsibilities patients have to secure the future of the free public healthcare system.
“Right now, far too many people suppose that only doctors have duties, and that only patients have rights.”
Professor Evans, who has published an academic paper on patient duties, suggests individual patients should cooperate more fully with medical advice and treatment, be courteous to NHS staff, and follow health promotion guidelines.
Professor Evans explains: “I believe the duties I propose would make the healthcare system work more effectively for the individual patient, could speed up recovery, and overall would increase the availability of the healthcare resources for other patients. These duties are the reasonable ‘price’ of accessing scarce NHS resources that are held for the common good.
“They could not of course be enforced and perhaps they should not all be, even if they could. However, recognising them would contribute to a vitally important ‘culture shift’ in the expectations that people have of the NHS.”
In his paper, Professor Evans outlines ten moral duties. They recommend patients promote their own health both before and after illness, access healthcare in a responsible and truthful way, and in certain specific circumstances, take part in medical research.
Professor Evans comments: “The fact that falling ill is largely beyond the patient’s control, and the fact that most people have no choice but to rely on publicly funded healthcare from the NHS, all give added strength to the argument. They emphasise our common need for the same scarce resources, and our shared responsibility to make sure those resources are used most effectively, to the benefit of all of us.”
Professor Evans is a leading academic in medical humanities and a longstanding commentator on medicine.
The ten moral duties
1. Duty to participate in a ‘healthcare jurisdiction’
2. Duty to uphold his or her own health
3. Duty to protect the health of others
4. Duty to seek and access healthcare responsibly
5. Duty of truthfulness
6. Duty of compliance
7. Duty of inpatient conduct
8. Duty of recovery or maintenance
9. Duty of research participation
10. Duty of citizenship
Alex Thomas | alfa
Penn studies find promise for innovations in liquid biopsies
30.03.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
'On-off switch' brings researchers a step closer to potential HIV vaccine
30.03.2017 | University of Nebraska-Lincoln
The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine
30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine
30.03.2017 | Medical Engineering