A Code Of Ethical Behavior For Patients

  • Do not expect your doctor to share your discomfort. Involvement with the patient’s suffering might cause him to lose valuable scientific objectivity.
  • Be cheerful at all times. Your doctor leads a busy and trying life and requires all the gentleness and reassurance he can get.
  • Try to suffer from the disease for which you are being treated. Remember that your doctor has a professional reputation to uphold.
  • Do not complain if the treatment fails to bring relief. You must believe that your doctor has achieved a deep insight into the true nature of your illness, which transcends any mere permanent disability you may have experienced.
  • Never ask your doctor to explain what he is doing or why he is doing it. It is presumptuous to assume that such profound matters could be explained in terms that you would understand.
  • Pay your medical bills promptly and willingly. You should consider it a privilege to contribute, however modestly, to the well-being of physicians, health care managers and other humanitarians.
  • Do not suffer from ailments not covered by your health care plan. It is a waste of resources to contract illnesses that are beyond your means.
  • Never reveal any of the shortcomings that have come to light in the course of treatment by your doctor. The patient-doctor relationship is a privileged one and you have a sacred duty to protect him from exposure.
  • Never die while in your doctor’s presence or under his direct care. This will only cause him needless inconvenience and embarrassment.

The Dangers of a Hot Bath

Feeling edgy, a man took a hot bath.

Just as he became comfortable, the doorbell rang. The man got out of the tub, put on his slippers and robe and went to the door.

A salesman at the door wanted to know if he needed any brushes. Slamming the door, the man returned to the bath.

The doorbell rang again. On went the slippers and robe, and the man started for the door again. He took one step, slipped on a wet spot, fell backward, and hit his back against the hard porcelain bathtub.

Cursing under his breath, the man struggled into his street clothes and with every move a stab of pain, drove to the doctor.

After examining him, the doctor said, “You know, you’ve been lucky. Nothing is broken. But you need to relax… Why don’t you go home and take a long hot bath?”