Ethics

Talk to Your Doctor: Direct-to-Consumer Advertising of Prescription Drugs, Part 2

August 6, 2010
Talk to Your Doctor: Direct-to-Consumer Advertising of Prescription Drugs, Part 2

By Ishmeal Bradley

Faculty Peer Reviewed

 In the first installment, we looked at the history behind consumer advertising of prescription drugs. We also explored the concept of commercial free speech and why this form of advertising is legal. To fully appreciate the controversy about direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising, we must now examine the commercial effects of these ad campaigns. Do these ads really increase prescription volume and drug costs? Are both physicians and patients affected by the commercials they see on television? In this installment, we …

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Talk to Your Doctor: Direct-to-Consumer Advertising of Prescription Drugs, Part 1

July 30, 2010
Talk to Your Doctor: Direct-to-Consumer Advertising of Prescription Drugs, Part 1

By Ishmeal Bradley, MD

Faculty Peer Reviewed

 Advertising is everywhere. That should come as no surprise to anyone who has lived in modern America. It is impossible to turn on the television, ride the subway, or even sort through the daily mail without coming across an ad for a new car, a soft drink, or the latest digital toy. These advertisements have only one goal: to entice you to buy their products. This is harmless enough when these ads refer to shoes, peanut butter, or …

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Revisiting the USPSTF Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines: Ethics, and Patient Responsibilities

May 6, 2010
Revisiting the USPSTF Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines: Ethics, and Patient Responsibilities

David Shabtai

Faculty Peer Reviewed

 In a bold move, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recently changed their breast cancer screening guidelines – recommending beginning screening at age 50 and even then only every other year until age 75. Bold, because the Task Force members are certainly aware of the media circus that ensued when in 1997, an NIH group issued similar guidelines, prompting comparisons to Alice in Wonderland. The new guidelines, recommend “against routine screening mammography in women aged 40-49 years” as well as …

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Physician Assisted Suicide: A Spiritual Challenge

April 30, 2010
Physician Assisted Suicide: A Spiritual Challenge

Commentary on  last week’s “Physician Assisted Suicide—Is now the time?” by Antonella Surbone, MD PhD FACP, Ethics Editor, Clinical Correlations.

Last week’s piece on Physician Assisted Suicide (PAS) by Dr. Juliana Eng addresses in simple and clear terms an issue that, at times, occupies the front pages of our newspapers or becomes the center of heated public debate or the theme of elaborated ethical argumentations. For long periods, however, the request of some of our patients to be helped in putting an end to their …

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Physician-assisted Suicide – Is Now the Time?

April 24, 2010
Physician-assisted Suicide – Is Now the Time?

Juliana Eng MD

Several months ago, the U.K. courts ordered Ken Starmer, Director of Public Prosecutions, to delineate the conditions under which his office would be likely or unlikely to prosecute people who helped friends or relatives kill themselves.  This list of conditions is intended to provide information so that those who wish to assist another commit suicide can make an informed decision.  Yet Section 2(1) of the Suicide Act of 1961 provides: “A person who aids, abets, counsels or procures the suicide of another, …

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The Ethics of Electronic Health Records

January 15, 2010
The Ethics of Electronic Health Records

John J. Mercuri

Faculty peer reviewed

Introduction
The 111th Congress allocated $19 billion of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 toward the creation of an electronic health record (EHR) for each person in the United States by 2014.(1) The recent debate over EHRs has focused largely on the economic, logistical, and political consequences of implementing such a system; however, the country should also contemplate the ethical ramifications of EHRs. Addressing these concerns requires the application of ethical principles such as autonomy, justice, beneficence/non-maleficence, …

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Ethics Commentary: Communication and Breaking Bad News

July 2, 2009
Ethics Commentary: Communication and Breaking Bad News

Commentary on Dr. Cox’s Tales of Survival by Antonella Surbone MD PhD FACP, Ethics Editor

Commenting on Dr. Cox’s honest heartfelt piece is not an easy task and even less so for me, as Ethics Editor. Why? Because before being a trained, published bioethicist, I’m a physician too. I’ve been through medical training and Fellowship in oncology in Italy and in the US: everywhere I have experienced the same doubts and felt the same anguish that Dr. Cox powerfully describes. During my internship, I still …

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Commentary on Conscientious Objection in Medicine: A Moral Dilemma

June 5, 2009
Commentary on Conscientious Objection in Medicine: A Moral Dilemma

The following is a commentary  on last week’s post, Conscientious Objection in Medicine: A Moral Dilemma, written by Dr. Bradley.

 Commentary by Antonella Surbone, MD PhD FACP, Ethics Editor

The piece by Dr. Bradley raises a highly controversial issue in today’s medicine, physicians’ conscientious objection. Dr. Bradley reviews recent legislature, as well as medical literature, including the underlying ethical argumentation. Unfortunately, the key issue of ethical and moral justification for conscientious objection in medicine is unlikely to be resolved through abstract debate and argumentation, no …

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