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Ciência & Saúde Coletiva

On-line version ISSN 1678-4561Print version ISSN 1413-8123


GONCALVES, Evelise Ribeiro  and  VERDI, Marta Inez Machado. Ethical problems in patient care at a dental school clinic. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2007, vol.12, n.3, pp.755-764. ISSN 1678-4561.

An exploratory, descriptive and qualitative survey was conducted at the Dentistry School, Santa Catarina State Federal University, Brazil, in order to identify and analyze the ethical problems involved in patient care at this teaching clinic. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with professors of clinical disciplines and assessed through the Analysis of Content technique, using the bioethical principles of the autonomy of the patient and the confidentiality of the information as references. Some analysis categories were identified, pointing to the existence of several ethical problems in the daily patient care routines at this teaching clinic. They include scheduling stand-by patients, favored care for the friends of lecturers and employees, a lack of information offered to patients on treatment and imaging procedures, distortions in the use of deed of informed consent, etc. The constantly vulnerable situation of the patients became quite clear, together with the importance and responsibility of the professors in building up the ethical competence of future dentists.

Keywords : Bioethics; Dentistry; Dental school clinic; Autonomy; Confidentiality.

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