Observers in the Medical Setting

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Abstract

Requests for observation experiences are common in the emergency department and other medical settings. There is little guidance in the literature or in professional societies’ polices about who should be granted this privilege. This article reviews the ethical and legal issues that should be taken into account when one decides whether to allow observers in the medical setting. At the heart of the issue is patient privacy. This article recommends that institutions have policies in place that address these activities and suggests content for such policies.

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