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ERIC Number: EJ797094
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Mar
Pages: 4
Abstractor: Author
ISSN: ISSN-1382-4996
Walsh, Kieran
Advances in Health Sciences Education, v10 n1 p81-84 Mar 2005
We live in a celebrity-obsessed world and our medical students are no more immune to the glamour of celebrity than anyone else. When teaching medical students about a certain medical illness I used to tell them about a celebrity who suffers from this illness. I did this to get their attention and to stimulate their interest but even though the celebrity's information was already in the public domain I started to feel increasingly uncomfortable about doing this. Celebrities are famous but they have a right to a private life as much as everybody else. I began to feel that I was invading the celebrity's privacy by discussing his illness in a lecture hall. I could have asked for his consent to our discussing his confidential medical information but this would probably have been impracticable and in any case such consent would have been invalid as he would not know in advance what the discussion would be about. I could not argue that discussing his illness was overwhelmingly in the public interest or that I could not make my teaching points in any other way. I may have considered it reasonable to discuss the information but that is no guarantee that he would have felt the same way. I think that using famous peoples illnesses to make a point does them no good and can do them harm: it is also breaches their right to have a private life.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A