One in 10 doctors lie to patients

More than one in ten doctors admit to having told a patient a lie in the previous 12 months according to a survey — however female doctors appear to be more honest than their male colleagues.

The US survey also found that more than half of doctors said they had described a prognosis to patients in the previous 12 months more positively than warranted.

The findings have led the researchers to argue the “information deficits” could contribute to poor quality care by “making patients less able to make healthcare decisions that reflect their values and goals”.

Writing in Health Affairs, they said that almost one fifth of the 2000 doctors — including GPs — who were questioned did not “completely agree” that doctors should never tell a patient something untrue.