Blog Posts (58)
August 2, 2012
What is the appropriate role for a clinical ethicist, impartial consultant or patient advocate? This question is raised by a newly published Target Article and is hotly debated in commentaries that appear in the August issue of The American Journal of Bioethics.…
June 15, 2012
We are happy to share that AJOB’s July issue (a few weeks ahead of schedule) is now available online on bioethics.net and here.…
May 13, 2012
Using Twitter to broadcast a live surgical procedure: educational or ethically dubious? There are obvious concerns with the practice such as the invasion of privacy or potential for error/adverse events due to the broadcast.…
April 19, 2012
A study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology reports via Reuters Health today that cancer patients rarely tell anyone about the problems with the care they receive.…
April 16, 2012
Sometimes doctors engage in questionable practices for the “good of the patient.” Think plastic surgeons who enhance breasts to any size to help their patients feel better about their body image.…
April 3, 2012
It is hard to determine which is more concerning: the fact that state medical boards are now doing background checks on their physicians or that prior experience suggests that they have to in order to protect public safety.…
October 3, 2011
Is there a limit to how far physicians can go in their social or political activism? Ford Vox, writing in The Atlantic, suggests that perhaps there is.…
June 24, 2011
Art Caplan asks this very question in his MSNBC column this week. When a wealthy recluse died at the age of 104, to whom did she leave her fortune?…
June 14, 2011
That phrase may be the last word that some patients hear from their physician as they go under the knife, if a Massachusetts law passes.…
February 19, 2011
Social networking among physicians is raising concerns for a variety of obvious reasons–it challenges our standard ways of thinking about the physician-patient relationship which for the most part has been confined to the exam room.…
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September 25, 2012 8:34 pm
There is nothing “woeful” about the response of the country’s medical schools to the need for more doctors (“America’s Health Worker Mismatch,” by Kate Tulenko, Op-Ed, Sept. 14). Facing doctor shortages of more than 130,000 by 2025, medical schools have committed to admitting and educating 30 percent more students by 2015. With 12 new medical schools established since 2002 and six more in the accreditation pipeline, along with existing schools that are increasing their enrollments, schools are on track to meet the expansion goal by 2016.
September 12, 2012 8:07 pm
It found that diabetics whose doctors were more empathic fared better clinically and had fewer medical complications. The study doesn’t get into the why of things. But it suggests that the unique bond between patients and their doctors goes far beyond prescriptions and blood pressure checks.
September 10, 2012 1:57 pm
For most patients in the real world, getting good medical care involves complicated decisions. It’s not as simple as what often gets shown on TV, where a patient goes in, the doctor figures out what’s wrong, and then he performs some lifesaving surgery. Most of modern medicine, especially for the elderly, is a lot messier — usually there’s not “right” answer, no perfect treatment.
September 5, 2012 7:51 pm
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Doctors and nurses may overestimate the quality of the care they provide hospital patients in the hours leading up to a serious complication, according to a small new study. After reviewing the records of 47 patients, Dutch researchers found that for more than half there were delays in recognizing that the patients’ conditions were deteriorating in advance of a crisis, such as an unplanned admission to intensive care. Meanwhile nurses, doctors-in-training and specialists reported far fewer delays.
August 28, 2012 12:45 pm
In an interview with WCVB-TV, Dr. Carter explained, “After three consecutive injuries (with other patients) trying to care for people over 250 pounds, my office is unable to accommodate a certain weight and we put a limit on it.”
And Carter is completely within her professional rights to do so. Under Opinion 9.12 of the AMA Code of Medical Ethics, both physicians and patients are free to decline a relationship. “A physician may decline to undertake the care of a patient whose medical condition is not within the physician’s current competence,” the code says.
August 27, 2012 8:51 am
“My instinct is this will be available certainly in the next decade, and probably sooner,” said Benjamin E. Berkman, MPH, deputy director of the Bioethics Core at the National Human Genome Research Institute in Bethesda, Md. But the medical community is not prepared to address the clinical challenges and ethical issues that probably will accompany the procedure, say some bioethicists and geneticists.
August 26, 2012 5:49 pm
TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) – A nurse accidentally disposed of a kidney from a living donor this month at an Ohio hospital, and doctors tried unsuccessfully for at least two hours to resuscitate the organ in what medical experts describe as a rare accident, health officials said. “Human error rendered the kidney unusable,” University of Toledo Medical Center spokesman Toby Klinger said Saturday, but he declined to give more details, citing the hospital’s investigation into what happened and its respect for the privacy of the patients involved.
August 22, 2012 5:08 pm
Differences varied by specialty: Emergency medicine, general internal medicine, neurology and family medicine reported the highest rates. The authors note other studies show burnout can decrease the quality of care, lead to increased risk for errors and push doctors into early retirement, as well as cause problems in their personal lives. “There have been other studies done on doctor burnout, but we assumed it was the surgical specialties who would be at primary risk,” says Shanafelt. “Instead we found out it’s the physicians on the front line of care who are at the greatest risk.”
August 14, 2012 7:54 pm
A St. Louis area doctor is facing lawsuits from 10 women claiming she put before-and-after pictures of their breast augmentation surgeries on her website. The suits in federal court in St. Louis accuse Michele Koo of Kirkwood of negligence for displaying pictures linked to the names of the women. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that in most cases, the images showed no faces and were authorized by patients who expected their names to remain confidential.
August 14, 2012 7:51 pm
Doctors who order tests for hospital patients don’t always read the results before the patient is discharged, raising the risk of missing potentially dangerous conditions, an Australian study found. About half of the unread tests were ordered on the day the patient left the hospital, according to research today in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Many of those results still hadn’t been reviewed two months later, the researchers said.
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