FIDELITY TO TRUST

This refers to the special relationship that certain individuals, usually professionals, have to those who are vulnerable and who put their trust in the professional to assist them in some manner. In health care, patients are much less powerful than healthcare professionals: They are usually ill, whereas caregivers are not; they are usually not in surroundings they are comfortable in, whereas health care professionals are; and most of all, they lack the expert knowledge and resources required to meet their healthcare goals – which health care professionals have. Patients must put themselves in the hands of their health care providers and trust that the care providers will help them to achieve the patient’s goals. This puts health care professionals in a conflict of interest where the conflict lies between meeting their personal interests and the needs of their patients. Fidelity to trust is about maintaining the trust patients put in their care providers to advance patient interests ahead of their own.

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