Article Text

other Versions

An ethicist's journey as a patient: are we sliding down the slippery slope to sloppy healthcare?
  1. Melissa McCullough
  1. Correspondence to Melissa McCullough, Centre for Medical Education, Queen's University Belfast, Room 02.021, Whitla Medical Building, 97 Lisburn Road, Belfast BT9 7BL, Northern Ireland; m.mccullough{at}


People who are sick are often the most vulnerable in society. They frequently rely on caring and competent healthcare professionals and should and do have expectations of a safe and caring environment. In a recent unexpected adventure through the healthcare system, the organisation, professionalism, caring and compassion associated with healthcare provision were in very short supply. A lack of basic dignity and humanity were among the most concerning deficits. Any form of dehumanisation of the national health service that leads to unsafe, undignified and degrading treatment not only infringes patients' and clients' human rights but should not be acceptable or excused as a by-product of economic pressures.

Statistics from


  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

Request permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Linked Articles