Dentists who encounter friends or relatives who request professional opinions about oral health problems are placed in difficult positions that may impose a duty to provide some advice or intervention. Even more awkward is the situation in which a dentist recognizes a pathosis in a nonpatient who is not seeking advice. The ethical principle of beneficence may confer an obligation upon the dentist to act in a professional role even though no professional relationship exists. There are criteria that guide providers in establishing that such a duty of specific beneficence is present; dentists must meet this duty while not violating the same principle of doctor-patient confidentiality that would exist if the nonpatient were, in fact, a patient.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||5|
|State||Published - Jan 1 1998|
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