October, 25 2013 09:33:00

Medical ethics on alert

This week, a 39-year-old woman in Ha Noi died on the operating table while undergoing a breast enhancement procedure.

The doctor who performed the operation was arrested for allegedly dumping her body in the river, touching a nerve across the entire nation and raising a major alert on medical ethics, which seem to be deteriorating.

In August, Ha Noi Police also prosecuted ten health officials from Hoai Duc Hospital in Hoai Duc District for duplicating around 1,000 blood-test results for up to 2,000 patients, potentially having major consequences on the patients' health, particularly in terms of disease diagnosis and treatment.

The nation is in a crisis; with residents losing their trust in doctors and hospitals, fearing they may do more harm than good.

Vietnamese medical students have to swear the Hippocratic Oath in schools, but other than that, the lack of medical ethics has not been properly addressed in Viet Nam.

In many developed countries, doctors have to pass an ethics test before they are licensed and hospitals have their own codes of ethics.

What's the situation in your country? Are doctors required to pass an ethics test or do your hospitals have ethics codes for doctors? Do you think a mandatory ethics test would lead to more morality in the medical profession?

Please reply by email to: opinion@vnsmail.com, or by fax to (84-4) 3 933 2311. Letters can be sent to The Editor, Viet Nam News, 79 Ly Thuong Kiet Street, Ha Noi. Replies to next week's questions must be received by Thursday morning, October 31, 2013. — VNS

Send Us Your Comments:
Your E-mail address:

VietNamNews may edit your comments and not all emails will be published.


Mountains of coal sludge still threat to lives in Quang Ninh Mountains of coal sludge still threat to lives in Quang Ninh

Wiping sweat from his forehead, 36-year-old Trinh Duc Sang took big strides along a road covered with muddy coal sludge and dirt to the place that was his home until just three weeks ago. He climbed a rickety ladder that buckled under his weight to reach his neigh-bour's house overlooking a creek. From there, he crossed into his old home.

Doctors treat patients for free at clinic in Ha Noi Doctors treat patients for free at clinic in Ha Noi

For more than 20 years, Dang Thi Nhan, 67, has been waking up about 30 minutes earlier each day to bake cakes or prepare tea for two retired doctors in a clinic near her house in Ha Noi's Giap Bat Ward.

Wounds begin to heal between US, Viet Nam 1    Wounds begin to heal between US, Viet Nam

Pham Ba Lu swore thousands of times that he "would not live under the same sky as the United States".

Water resources, eroding land need saving Water resources, eroding land need saving

Water management has become a major topic of discussion in recent years among Viet Nam's lawmakers, experts and society. The country has been struggling to deal with water-related issues such as a rising sea level, land subsidence and saline intrusion in the Mekong Delta. Lawmakers and experts shared their views on water management with Viet Nam News reporters Thu Van and Hoang Anh.