In general, doctors should not treat themselves or their own family members. Doctors generally shouldn't treat themselves or their immediate family members. Professional objectivity can be compromised when an immediate family member or doctor is the patient; the doctor's personal feelings can unduly influence his professional medical judgment, interfering with the care provided. Doctors may not examine sensitive areas when taking the medical history, or they may not perform private parts of the physical exam.
Similarly, patients may feel uncomfortable disclosing sensitive information or undergoing an intimate examination when the doctor is an immediate family member. This discomfort is particularly the case when the patient is a minor child, and sensitive or intimate care of such patients should be especially avoided. When treating themselves or members of their immediate family, doctors may be inclined to treat problems that are beyond their experience or training. If tensions develop in a doctor's professional relationship with a family member, perhaps as a result of a negative medical outcome, such difficulties may carry over to the family member's personal relationship with the doctor.
It would not always be inappropriate to engage in self-treatment or treatment of immediate family members. Concerns about patient autonomy and informed consent are also relevant when doctors try to treat members of their immediate family. Although these doctors had anticipated the demands of their families, they were surprised to find that other doctors also welcomed them and even looked forward to their participation. Due to my strong family history of coronary artery disease (associated with smoking in my ancestors) and my abnormal Lp (a), I have been taking statins on my own with the knowledge of my doctor, as has my wife, who has a metabolic syndrome even though she is thin.
Physicians are not supposed to treat family members, as specified in the AMA Code of Medical Ethics, but the trials reveal a more nuanced reality. Internally, physicians have an identity and responsibilities that are balanced between their family and professional roles. Externally, the different family expectations of the physician-family member role compete with the expectations of other physicians and the health care system. Even if they had resisted pressure from their own families and other doctors, doctors thought that the changing circumstances of their parents' care often required their intervention.
In other cases, the doctor completely gives up his professional role to perform a family function. Most doctors are caring, caring, and also convenient professionals, and expecting all family members and doctors to go to the emergency room or wait until your regular doctor is available to address something that one can simply and conveniently address is not reasonable. Doctors also thought that underlying anxiety forced their families to turn to them for help. In emergency settings or isolated settings where no other qualified doctor is available, doctors should not hesitate to treat themselves or their family members until another doctor is available.
Personal responsibility to the family is deeply rooted, and a person's behavior is affected by their identity and family relationships.