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An Irish Country Doctor > 4. Are ethics being breached?

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message 1: by Carol (new)

Carol  Jones-Campbell (cajonesdoa) | 690 comments Mod
4. There are several instances throughout the book in which O’Reilly breaches traditional ethics—in maintaining confidentiality, in telling patients the truth, even in prescribing “tonics”—while caring for his patients. How does Barry react to this? How do those breaches make you feel? Are there ever medical situations like these in which you think the end justifies the means?


message 2: by Pam (new)

Pam | 218 comments This was kind of funny to me. He gave them what they wanted - attention. If he turned every hypochondriac away word would get out and he would soon lose his practice/patient load. I cracked up with how he worked with the Farthington’s (?) by making Mr. drink every hour and Mrs. use the dip sticks to check his urine every hour all through the night!

He had a great balance that Barry soon began to appreciate and learn from.


message 3: by M.E. (new)

M.E. Hembroff (mhembroff) | 93 comments Barry's first reaction to the senior doctors way of practicing medicine shocked Barry who was fresh out of medical school. In his mind some of these cases should have been handled differently. He did trip up the senior physician when he diagnosed a formal tonic patient to have thyroid problems. When the tests results came back he was right.


message 4: by Carol (new)

Carol  Jones-Campbell (cajonesdoa) | 690 comments Mod
I was kind of tickled when one day the surgery was full of people. O'Reilly called out and said who's here for a tonic, and about half the patients came and lined up. So O'Reilly asks who is here for a tonic, and if it was for a placebo, or he gives them a Vitamin B shot it seems to be enough that he has fairly happy patients. ME's comment is a very good one too.


message 5: by Pam (new)

Pam | 218 comments I agree, Carol, he couldn’t run them off and who couldn’t use a B12 shot now and then!


message 6: by Cindy (new)

Cindy | 522 comments I was kind of uncomfortable that Dr O'Reilly treated many of his patients like children. It worked for him, but... yikes.


message 7: by Chelsea (last edited Jun 26, 2018 01:33PM) (new)

Chelsea | 562 comments Like Cindy I was uncomfortable. But I can see with how small a town it was that he needed to get the people to trust him, even if that meant not telling them they were fine and go along their merry way. They wanted the doctor to fix them, so he did even if they didn't need it. Not sure if it was the right thing to do, but I agree with Pam, he wouldn't have had any patients if he didn't act like that.


message 8: by Barb (new)

Barb (deckerbunch) | 227 comments Is this book biographical? Does anyone know? Is it based on true experiences? Perhaps there are exagerations for the benefit of the story line. (I don't know how to spell exagerations, and spell-check isn't helping me out this time.)


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