Is truth a supreme value? At times, we doctors have to contend with a complex dilemma in which we face the value of truth on the one hand and conflict with another value on the other. Is it sometimes permissible and even necessary not to report the truth in favour of another, more important value? This is a description of an experience in which a doctor had to handle such an issue when a pregnant Muslim woman asked for a document that she wasn’t pregnant when in fact she was, in order to avert the possibility of being murdered to preserve the honour of the family. The doctor decided that the value of life was more important than the value of truth.
- patient rights
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Competing interests: None.