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Acta Médica Peruana

On-line version ISSN 1728-5917


ZAVALA SARRIO, Salomón; SOGI UETMASU, Cecilia; CARDENAS DIAZ, Maximiliano  and  DELGADO VASQUEZ, Ana. Patient autonomy and their right to refuse medical treatment: Awareness of this situation in young Peruvian physicians (2010). Acta méd. peruana [online]. 2012, vol.29, n.2, pp.70-78. ISSN 1728-5917.

Objective: We assessed knowledge and awareness of Young Peruvian physicians about patient autonomy and their right to refuse medical treatment. Material and Method: The instrument used consisted in multiplechoice questions from three vignettes showing cases taken from the literature. It underwent validity (expert opinion) and reliability testing (Cronbach's alpha). Thirteen hundred and eighty nine physicians took part in the survey. All of them were contestants for the medical residency examination in San Marcos University for the year 2010. Results: Of the 1389 participants, 58% were male, their average age was 31 years (SD: 5,1), range, 23 to 56. Participants had their pregraduate studies in 28 Peruvian medical schools (88%) and in 14 foreign medical schools (12%); the year they finished medical studies was on average 2005 (SD: 4,0)m, range from 1978 to 2010. Correct responses in the ethical analysis were as follows: case 1 (74,2%), case 2 (65,6%), and case 3 (26,5%), but the rates of correct responses when applying the analysis were low: 9,0%, 3,2%, 10,4% for cases 1, 2, and 3, respectively. Conclusions: Our study explores young physicians' capabilities in a hypothetical context, and their responses suggest that the ethical analysis was adequate in two instances, and there were some frequent responses showing a defensive medical practice; there is lack of knowledge about the informed consent process in young subjects.

Keywords : Treatment refusal; ethical analysis; personal autonomy.

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