Doctor Profession Ethics

By Ly Xi

“Doctor is the mother of the patients, so he or she must take care of the patients like taking care of the children,” said Ly Xi.

MEDICAL profession has been characterized since it is drawn in history by tremendous responsibilities of practitioner shoulder: extensive knowledge, proper moral, performance, dedication, self-denial, and mercy towards all the people without discrimination. Medical ethics dictates essence from teaching, which is called honesty, sound performance, and consciousness in every act. We can clearly see that the doctor service in Cambodia is not good since a number of doctors say something bad to the patients and they discriminate against the poor people.

Phnom Penh Post newspaper wrote an article of doctor profession ethics in 2010 November that upon entering the medical profession, Cambodian doctors must take a physicians oath similar to the one outlined in the World Medical Association’s declaration of Geneva. One of the central tenants is that doctors practice medicine with “conscience and dignity” with the health of their client as their “first consideration”. Similarly, the International Code of Medical Ethics states that “a doctor must practice his profession uninfluenced by motives of profit”. They may swear to follow these high ethical standards, but unfortunately, the situation doctors face in reality makes it rather difficult in practice. Without any infrastructure to guarantee compensation for their services, too many doctors in the Kingdom demand payment before beginning treatment.

However, as a professional and ethical doctor, he or she must have physician personal qualities and adhere to the duties. The first part of qualities of physician is sincerity, meaning that the physician is the person who patients, their family, relative and community is confident in. This confidence requires all the doctors to be sincere in all the patient’s treatment and counseling.  The second part is truthfulness which mentions that the physician must be truthful when she or he speaks, and writes or testifies any issue. He should guard against friendship ties or fear that may attempt him to give a testimony, report or speech that he knows is contradict to the truth. Thirdly, compassion and sympathy are also the main part for physician to consider. They should be sympathetic to his patient’s feelings and feel pity for his sufferings. Apart from dealing with them gently, the doctors must be kind to the patients. When talking them, the physician should not incorporate anything that may render him weak or helpless. He should know the differences in patient’s psychological condition and administer the proper technique that would help relieve his fear.

The forth part is that patience and tolerance which require medical professionals to follow. It entails dealing with people from people from all walks of life and it requires exercising a lot of patience and tolerance which the physician must do. The physician must tolerate patient’s manner and must abstain from reciprocating harm by refusing, for example, to treat a patient or diminish his right to be care for. Last but not least, humility: physician should be modest in his practice. He must not be arrogant or disdainful to his patient, no matter what background they come from. Rather, he should show respect to all of those who dealing with him.

Besides these qualities which doctors must have, the duties of the doctors are also important. As the doctors, they have to practice the profession to the highest level of knowledge, expertise, truthfulness, and honesty. Physicians have to contribute to improving the health services and in studying health problems in the community and propose the relevant proper solution, for example, smoking, drug addiction, road traffic accidents, and infectious diseases. Furthermore, the physician is expected to fulfill, skillfully, and proficiently in order to have a good medical service such as being a good listener to a patient’s complaints and understanding his suffering, respecting the patient’s view. This respect will persuade physician from advising the patient on his or her disease, referring the patients to other physician who can provide specialized treatment, helping the patients obtain the necessary report and information (the patients should seek the opinion of another physician in respect of his illness.), and prescribing continuously quality of medical care to patient with terminal or incurable disease until the last moment in their lives.

In short, the manner of the physician towards the patients must be sensible, by not discriminating against them such as race, pretty or ugly and rich or poor people. The importance roles of the physician should be knowledgeable and honest in his professional skill. By doing these,

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