3.3 Ethics and Values Based Medicine

This section of our curriculum guide refers to statement 3.3, Ethics and Values Based Medicine, produced by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP).

Like all healthcare professionals, GPs have a duty to behave ethically and professionally. 

The provision of healthcare is guided by a framework of legal and ethical principles that are reflected in professional codes of practice. 

While general practice has focused on personalised care to individual patients, GPs also take part in public health programmes such as immunisation and health education, and have an obligation to use available resources efficiently to benefit all users of the healthcare system.

GPs need to be able to justify their decisions with reference to both the clinical evidence and the moral and other values that inform those decisions. The knowledge and skills acquired are applicable across the whole curriculum and should be incorporated into all aspects of clinical, managerial and research practice.

Here we have collated key articles from our journals to help you meet the curriculum requirements in this area.

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Confidentiality: When can GPs disclose information to the police?

Dr Kathryn Leask, medico-legal adviser at the Medical Defence Union (MDU), looks...

Genetic information and confidentiality

In the latest in our series on the GMC's new confidentiality guidance, MDU medico-legal...

GP training: Gathering evidence for 'maintaining an ethical approach'

An example learning log shows how trainees can use the 'four quadrants' approach,...

Ensuring patient confidentiality when dealing with the media

In the latest in our series on the GMC's new confidentiality guidance, MDU medico-legal...

Confidentiality: Disclosing patient information within the healthcare team

In the latest in our series on the GMC's new confidentiality guidance, MDU medico-legal...

Confidentiality: What can GPs tell family members?

In the second of a series on the GMC's new confidentiality guidance, MDU medico-legal...

CSA troubleshooting: 10 - Ethical issues in the CSA

The last of our 10-part series discusses how to handle difficult ethical dilemmas.

Medico-legal: Patients who refuse to co-operate

MDU medico-legal adviser Dr Sally Old considers five examples of patients who are...

Medico-legal - Treating transgender patients

Management of transgender patients requires great care and sensitivity, says Dr Carol...

Explain to the concerned neighbour the importance of maintaining dementia patients in their own surroundings for as long as possible (Photograph: SPL)

Practice dilemma - An interfering neighbour

A neighbour of an 88-year-old female patient with moderate dementia comes to see...

Four key ideas can help you to identify common ethical questions (Photograph: JH Lancy)

Ethical issues in the first five years

Questions of ethics pose complicated problems to GPs on a daily basis, says Dr Rhona...

Antivirals are not always indicated for cases of chickenpox (Photograph: Guillaume / Science Photo Library)

Practice Dilemma - Aciclovir for chickenpox

The Dilemma - A young woman who runs her own business attends the surgery to discuss...

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