"You should get that looked at" -- yea or nay?
September 18, 2009 3:13 PM Subscribe
How far does -- or should -- a medical professional's ethical responsibility go when it comes to the health and well-being of strangers (i.e. people one might see on the street, or in line at the supermarket)?
posted by greatgefilte to human relations (31 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
As a purely theoretical example, let's say I'm paying for my groceries and I notice that the cashier behind the till has some pretty characteristic signs of a disease that may be potentially serious, but that they may not realize they have. (For argument's sake, let's say Cushing's syndrome or melanoma.) Should I assume it's (a) none of my business, (b) something that is my business, but perhaps is not a good idea to address because I could be wrong and cause unnecessary anxiety, or they could already be seeing their doctor about it, (c) something I should definitely mention, or (d) something else?
If it's not venturing too much into the realm of ChatFilter, how would you feel if someone came up to you and said, "Excuse me, I'm a doctor/nurse/dentist, and I think you should get [x] looked at."?