Healthcare professionals acting ethically under the risk of stigmatization and violence during COVID-19 from media reports in Turkey

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Abstract Aim: The COVID-19 infection is transmitted either by human-to-human contact, social-physical contact, and respiratory droplets or by touching items touched by the infected. This has triggered some conflicted behaviors such as stigma, violence, and opposite behavior applause. The aim of this study is to explore several newspaper articles about stigma, violence, or insensitive behavior against healthcare professionals and to analyze the reason for these behaviors during these COVID-19 pandemics. Method: The website of the Turkish Medical Association "Press Releases News" and online newspaper articles have been scanned using keywords and have been classified and analyzed according to the content of articles between the periods of March 11 to April 28, 2020. This is a qualitative study with content analysis. No official ethical permission was obtained as the study was conducted through open access internet news sites. Result: 16 reports were selected from online reports that matched the keywords of the study. 13 of these reports included desensitization, violence, lack of precaution, stigmatization, and applause, and 3 reports included doctors’ statements. After being categorized, content analyses were conducted. Conclusion: This study revealed the necessity of a multi-faceted evaluation of the problems faced by healthcare professionals who are at the forefront of the COVID-19 outbreak. This study has a primary role in the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of the pandemic and reveals that doctors are trying to fulfill their duties in an ethical framework despite stigmatized behavior. Authorities should provide various supports to protect healthcare professionals before, during, and after the epidemic for the success of the COVID-19 outbreak struggle.
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Archival date: 2020-06-24
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