GUGPS Ethics Case 1 | Surgo

Ethics Case

Glasgow University General Practice Society
Hello! Welcome to Glasgow Medical School’s latest society. GUGPS hope to get more of you interested and thinking about a career in general practice. We have lots of exciting events planned for next year, so watch this space for more information!
Ethics is a huge part of general practice, and those of you that choose a career as a family physician will be faced with ethical dilemmas on a regular basis. So GUGPS have decided to team up with Surgo and get you all thinking about ethics a bit more, by giving you an ethical case to solve in every issue! We’ll point you in the right direction with some questions – and in the next issue – we’ll tell you what the best solution would be (the solution that will let you keep your job!)
The Case: Oliver Klozoff and the Foreign Liaison
Oliver Klozoff, a 27-year-old CEO consults with you, complaining of dysuria following a trip abroad for business. Bother he and his wife Emma are patients of the practice. Investigation reveals the presence of a Chlamydia infection. At your next appointment you suggest that Oliver should tell Emma about this problem, because if she is not diagnosed, treated and followed up she could suffer long term harm. Oliver refuses, saying that their marriage is already in difficulty and this would be the ‘final straw’. He also refuses to use condoms because he feels that Emma would be suspicious. When you challenge him about  the threat to the health of Emma, he asks you to take a swab from her on some pretext, and then treat any infection that you discover.
Question 1:
Would you go along with Mr Klozoff’s suggestion?
Question 2:
What other options do you have?
Question 3:
Would the situation be any different if Emma was not your patient?
Question 4:
Would your decision be any different if the infection was Candida instead of Chlamydia?
We’ll tell you what the best solution would be (the solution that will let you keep your job!) in the next edition of Surgo!