Medicine’s emotive harms
Clinicians hold more negative attitudes toward certain patients – our implicit bias. It has been suggested that nice patients may be preferred by clinicians and therefore receive more humanistic care. Clinicians hold more negative attitudes toward patients with eating disorders than toward other patients.
Cases of starvation caused by eating disorders are often seen by clinicians as a form of deviance, which provokes a visceral reaction of anger and frustration. These reactions have been associated with patients’ lack of improvement and personality pathology and with clinicians’ stigmatizing beliefs and inexperience. One could argue that this type of unconscious partiality may be worse than intentional harm.
Read the full case report and ethics discussion HERE.