What is a self-disclosure program and how can it be used by a medical practice?

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kipling2448 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"Self-disclosure" refers to the requirement within some professions to present to one's superiors, to regulatory agencies, or to the public at large one's assets, relationships or activities that could be considered to constitute a conflict of interest.  For example, Members of Congress are required to list those from whom they accept campaign donations. Those lists can then be scanned for signs that the congressperson's actions or votes may have been influenced by those donations.

In the medical profession, ethical concerns regarding financial matters also exist.  Doctors may be compensated or "incentivized" to prescribe certain medications to their patients.  The patient has a right to know whether the medication or procedure for which he or she was prescribed was tied in any way to a financial decision on the part of the physician.

More importantly, patients have a right to know of any medical malpractice complaints that have been filed against a physician.  Some states require medical facilities to disclose any medical errors that occurred there, so that the public can take the facilities' records into account when deciding where to have a surgical procedure performed.