The aim of the study was to survey attitudes among medical doctors and lay people to unsolicited medical intervention. The design of the study was an anonymous questionnaire study including three scenarios implying ethical considerations. A total of 445 medical doctors working within different areas received the questionnaire, as did 75 medical students and 600 lay people. The results showed a response rate of 67%, highest among medical doctors and students. The lay people had significantly higher expectations concerning the medical intervention in two out of three scenarios compared to medical doctors and students. The participants were offered the opportunity to comment on the questionnaire. The conclusion of the Danish survey is that there is a significantly different approach to unsolicited medical intervention among lay people compared to medical doctors and students. Medical doctors are less disposed to perform unsolicited intervention compared with the wishes/expectations of the lay people. More open attitudes and information as well as better communication is recommended.
Keywords: Aged; Attitude of Health Personnel; Conflict of Interest; Denmark; Emergencies; Ethics, Medical; Humans; Middle Aged; Physician's Role; Physicians; Public Opinion; Questionnaires; Students, Medical