A study was recently carried out to ask doctors if they thought it was fine to hide a mistake, even if they knew that the mistake could injure or harm the patient. A full 78 percent said that this was never acceptable to do so.

With such a stark majority, why is this such big news? It’s making headlines because that’s the lowest that the number has been in the last three surveys, showing a problematic trend: More and more doctors appear to be fine with covering up these errors.

The study was done in 2010, and about 95 percent of the doctors who were asked said hiding mistakes was never good under any circumstances. They valued honesty and transparency with their patients. The study was done again in 2014, and the number was still high, but it had fallen to 91 percent. Now, just two years later, it has fallen dramatically, plunging by about 13 percent.

The doctors did have some options on the survey, and so it’s worth noting that only 7 percent claimed that it was always all right to hide a harmful mistake. Twice that many — 14 percent — said that it depended on the situation.

While doctors may feel that way, there is potentially a cause for concern here for patients, with almost a quarter of all physicians potentially lying to or at least deceiving their patients about errors. Have you been harmed, and did the doctor try and fail to cover it up? If so, you may be able to seek compensation for many things, such as subsequent treatments that were needed, pain and suffering, and more.

Source: WebMD, “More Doctors Willing to Hide Mistakes, Survey Says,” Robert Lowes, Dec. 02, 2016