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ARTICLE
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 18  |  Page : 137-142

Ethical dilemmas as faced by postgraduate students of a dental institution during management of dental patients


1 Senior Lecturer, Dept. of Public Health Dentistry, Vydehi Institute of Dental sciences and Research Centre, Bengaluru, India
2 Professor and Head, Dept. of Public Health Dentistry, KLE VK Institute of Dental Sciences, Belgaum, India
3 Reader, Dept. of Public Health Dentistry, KLE VK Institute of Dental Sciences, Belgaum, India

Correspondence Address:
Deepti Vadavi
Senior Lecturer, Dept. of Public Health Dentistry, Vydehi Institute of Dental sciences and Research Centre, Bengaluru
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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Aim: To describe the ethical issues that postgraduate dental students perceive while doing clinical practice in dental college. Method: 107 postgraduate students in the dental college participated in the study. A self designed 7 itemed open ended questionnaire that provided opportunity for students to present their perceived ethical dilemmas perceived during their BDS or MDS course including how they might handle the situation should they encounter a similar circumstance in future was given to the postgraduate students to fill. Fifty randomly selected papers were reviewed in order to develop preliminary categories for the ethical issues described by the students. Twenty five different papers were then selected for a trial consensus coding. All data were entered using Microsoft Excel 2007 and frequency data were calculated using SPSS 15.0. Results: The most often identified ethical issue were financial constraints (22.43%), truth telling or disclosure (19.63%), patient/parent refusal of treatment plan (17.76%). 36 % responded that they would change their plan to the ideal treatment plan for that case and 28 % of the students reported that they would be truthful to the patient if a similar situation arises in their practice in future. Conclusion: Ethical dilemmas are a part of the student life and though students may deviate from the path of ethics at certain circumstances, the majority of them assure that they will not deviate from the ethical principles if a similar situation arises in the future.


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