July 12, 2012 12:29 pm
Prisoners inside the U.S. military’s detention center at Guantanamo Bay were forcibly given “mind altering drugs,” including being injected with a powerful anti-psychotic sedative used in psychiatric hospitals. Prisoners were often not told what medications they received, and were tricked into believing routine flu shots were truth serums. It’s a serious violation of medical ethics, made worse by the fact that the military continued to interrogate prisoners while they were doped on psychoactive chemicals.
July 12, 2012 12:22 pm
Even with success stories like the Clintons’, some experts are concerned that desperate couples could get into financial trouble – and that doctors who own a share of the loan companies might be crossing ethical boundaries.
July 3, 2012 4:55 pm
Patients and their families are often outraged that they must wait months or even years for life-saving transplants. I too live in a state of outrage. And here’s why: Every single day in one of the richest countries on Earth, an average of 18 people die because there aren’t enough hearts or lungs or livers to go around. It’s a problem of simple math. More than 100,000 patients are on the waiting list for solid organ transplants, but in 2011 there were just 28,465 transplants completed.
June 26, 2012 3:53 pm
In a recent commentary in the Journal of Medical Ethics, Cory Harris and Amir Raz of McGill summarize the data from recent surveys of physician use of placebos in clinical practice in several nations. They find that prescribing drugs like antibiotics or supplements like vitamins as placebos is now a widespread practice. This is happening without any public guidelines or regulations for placebos’ use, which raises an important question: How, exactly, should physicians be using the placebo effect to help patients?
June 26, 2012 3:44 pm
ST. PAUL, Minn. — The U.S. Department of Treasury released proposed regulations Monday that would ban debt collection activities in the emergency rooms of non-profit hospitals. The proposed restriction comes in the wake of a lawsuit by Minnesota’s attorney general alleging Fairview Health Systems former contractor, Accretive Health hit up patients in emergency rooms for payment before treatment.
June 21, 2012 1:08 pm
In recent years, advocacy groups have been pushing to expand newborn screening to include lysosomal storage diseases (LSDs), a group of rare metabolic disorders, despite the lack of consensus on which children should be treated or the effectiveness of available therapies. With the high degree of uncertainty around LSDs, many medical ethicists as well as some genetic health professionals and public health officials are questioning the clinical value and the morality of screening mandates.
June 7, 2012 1:58 pm
As doctors, we are — by any ethical standard of modern medicine — obligated to tell our patients the truth. (Richmond’s physician does tell Wright that he’ll tell the councilman he is paralyzed.) But study after study of physician behavior suggests that’s not always the case — especially when the details are about grave diagnoses like paraplegia, cancer or dementia. In reality, the Truth between doctors and patients has always beenmorally hazy territory.
May 31, 2012 11:56 am
The physician-patient relationship is voluntary for both sides, and technically the doctor can end it for virtually any (nondiscriminatory) reason. And when your best efforts to get through to a noncompliant or belligerent patient have failed, isn’t it better for the patient, and not just for you, that he see someone else? “It’s not the patient who’s terminated that keeps the doctor up at night,” explains risk-management consultant Susan Keane Baker. “It’s the one who should have been terminated but wasn’t.”
May 20, 2012 12:49 pm
In this week’s Scrubbing Up opinion column, Prof Mayur Lakhani chair of the Dying Matters Coalition, urges doctors to be more open and frank about preparing patients and their families for the end of life.
May 20, 2012 12:46 pm
We live in a world where information is at our fingertips. You can download just about anything and have access to it almost instantly. We take control of so many aspects of our lives — we stay “informed” about our money, our financial investments, and perhaps even our health issues. But the one area where we are not informed is around issues that have to do with what choices we have as we near the end of our lives or when we are diagnosed with a life-changing illness or condition.