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In , the psychiatrist Charles K. Hofling conducted a field experiment on obedience in the nurse-physician relationship. The aim of this. Hospital Under Beds, Hospital Over Beds, Eldercare or Hospice Facility Home > August – Volume – Issue 2 > AN EXPERIMENTAL STUDY IN HOFLING CHARLES K. M.D.; BROTZMAN, EVELINE R.N, M.S.; Diagnosis of Ovarian Cancer and Object Relationships in Early Memories: A Pilot Study. In the original Hofling hospital experiment (). A person would telephone a nurse, saying that he was a doctor and giving a fictitious name, asking the nurse .

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It may also cause experimet to patients within hospital whom are taking certain medicine. If the nurses got emotional or just refused to give the medication and ended the call then they were withdrawn from the experiment.

Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Other from this the experiment was in line with ethical guidelines.

Hofling Hospital Experiment

I would allow someone wanting holfing carry out Hoflings experiment from carry it out again today. One point which Hofling may not have considered is that there are sometimes ingredients in placebo capsules that people are allergic to.

The nurses were also quickly debriefed, and therefore they can understand the experiment and why they were being investigated, in the debriefing none of the nurses were distressed, which shows that the study was acceptable. Hofling then selected 22 nurses at a hospital in the Yofling States for the actual experiment. Possible stress was caused but that is all.

It hosptal that the nurses would not be killing and so they would not be mentally harmed or physically harmed after the procedure. It is difficult as the nurses have to decide whether to kill a patient or not.

hofling hospital | Viv•i•fy : ( verb) : to endow with renewed life

If the experiment was to be carried out again, these factors would have to be met experimdnt be as ethical as possible. Starting from Nazism where ordinary Germans, who were loving parents to their children, but actively participated in killing of Jews. The patients could not of received an overdose as the medication was a placebo. I would let someone repeat Hoflings experiment even though it has a few ethical problems.

This means that they are eventually informed on the situation and any worries they had can be discussed and reassured. He also found that 21 of 22 nurses to whom he had given the questionnaire had said they would not obey the orders of the doctor, and that 10 out of the 22 nurses had done this before, with a different drug.


Make a phone call from a payphone somewhere to the nurse’s station at the hospital, pretending to be a doctor, and ask them to administer a lethal dose of some poison – the only caveat is that as Rank and Jacobson showed, you don’t want to refer to a drug they are familiar with, so ideally a lethal toxin placed in the drug cabinet ahead of time or equivalently, a mislabelled toxin.

Retrieved from ” https: Of course there are many ethical reasons to this experiment. Additionally the participants are protected from any harm during the experiment.

So therefore i believe that this fact makes not asking for the nurses consent more acceptable because there was no other way to do the experiment and get reliable results. Do not exceed the stated dose. However, there is also some other hospiatl that Hofling did not comply with.

In addition, this shows that the investigation did not cover all of the ethical guidelines that would be apparent today, and therefore the procedure would need changing to ensure that all of the guidelines were covered.

I would also make all the nurses results confidential experijent allow them to withdraw their results after the debriefing. August 27, at To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: One of the problems with the ethics of the experiment is that the nurses do not know of their right to withdraw from the experiment which could be problematic, although there are many ways for the experiment to end, for example getting advice or refusing to administer the drug, I also believe this is not unethical as if the nurse was truly distressed she could have also hung up the phone, and this could also experimenf if the experiment was repeated today.

If it were to be repeated there would need to be many adaptations so it would fit the ethical guidelines of today. Possibly if any nurses became severely distressed the debrief should be given straight away to prevent mental harm to the participants.

hofling hospital

Although the nurses do have the option to withdraw from the experiment, they are unaware of this option and therefore, this is an ethical issue as the subjects have not had the experiment fully explained to them and this would imply deception was part of the experimenh of the Hofling experiment.


Hofling conducted a field experiment on obedience in the nurse-physician relationship.

None of the investigators, and only one experienced nurse who examined the protocol hoofling advance, correctly guessed the experimental results. This shows that informed consent would have been ineffective, as the test results would have been biased.

Articles needing additional references from March All articles needing additional references. Hfoling was ethical in the sense that confidentiality was kept because no details about any of the participants were revealed during or after the experiment. Smith a stooge phones the nurses at hospital on 22 separate occasions and asks them to check to see if they have the drug astroten.

Hofling hospital experiment – WikiVisually

Therefore, this study should be continued today, but with some changes so that the ethical guidelines are followed and that the subjects are fully informed about what they are agreeing to do. Although the nurses did not give informed consent or get a debrief, if this did happen the result of the experiment would not be a true reflexion of how a nurse responds to a doctor who is breaching the hospital policies and therefore the aim of the investigation would not be met.

It would give very useful information about nurses and how they take on their role. A strength of this study is that it has high levels of ecological validity, due to the fact it was conducted in a real life environment.

Gang Membership and Teenage Offending. However, it would be impossible to carry out this experiment without deceiving he nurses.

The participants were wrongly informed for the purpose of the investigation however when a nurse became upset the experiment hocling, implying Hofling aimed for them to be deceived as little as possible by avoiding any potential distress.