Survey: Health Care System Causes Doctors to 'Bend' Ethical Norms to Serve Their Patients

Science Newsline—October 28, 2013

A survey among rheumatologists finds many face moral dilemmas when trying to do what's best for their patients in the current health care environment. The study, titled "Bending' Ethical Norms to Serve Patients' Interests: Tensions in Medical Professionalism," was presented at the American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting and appeared in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatism.

"When people receive a diagnosis, the cost of effective treatment may render it unaffordable for many," says Dr. C. Ronald MacKenzie, a rheumatologist at Hospital for Special Surgery and lead author of the study. "While an optimal or fair system would mitigate these impediments to care, our survey of ACR members suggests that this is often not the case. In fact, physicians report they frequently find themselves in situations of ethical conflict in an effort to best serve their patients."

Read the full story at sciencenewsline.com.

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