A Conference on Bioethics and Humanities, and Future Planning

The tone, overall, was intense. Intellectual, brain-stimulating… By contrast to other medical meetings I’ve attended, there was little glitz, scant makeup and limited Wireless. Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the ASBH conference

Posted in Academic Medicine, Life as a Doctor, Medical Education, Medical EthicsTagged , , , , , , , , , , , , 2 Comments on A Conference on Bioethics and Humanities, and Future Planning

Why I Support Health Care Reform

Profit is not what medical care is about, or should be about. What we need is a simple, national health plan, available to everyone, with minimal paperwork and, yes, limits to care.

Posted in Essential Lessons, Future of Medicine, health care costs, health care delivery, Medical Ethics, PolicyTagged , , , , , , , 2 Comments on Why I Support Health Care Reform

The Trouble With Placebos

The latest NEJM features a big story about a small trial, with only 39 patients in the end, on the potential for placebos to relieve patients’ experience of symptoms. This follows other recent reports on the subjective effectiveness of pseudo-pharmacology. My point for today is that placebos are problematic in health care with few exceptions. First, […]

Posted in Informed Consent, language, Medical Ethics, Medical News, Patient Autonomy, PseudoscienceTagged , , , , , , Leave a Comment on The Trouble With Placebos

Opening Up a Dialogue on the R-Word

Today a short article in the NY Times, New Kidney Transplant Policy Would Favor Younger Patients, draws my attention to a very basic problem in medical ethics: rationing. According to the Washington Post coverage, the proposal comes from the United Network for Organ Sharing, a Richmond-based private non-profit group the federal government contracts for allocation […]

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Why the Term ‘Patient’ Is So Important in Health Care

roviding health care is or should be unlike other commercial transactions. The doctor, or other person who gives medical treatment, has a special professional and moral obligation to help the person who’s receiving his or her care. This responsibility – to heal, honestly and to the best of one’s ability – overrides any other commitments, or conflicts

Posted in Communication, Essential Lessons, language, Medical Ethics, Patient-Doctor RelationshipTagged , , , , , , 9 Comments on Why the Term ‘Patient’ Is So Important in Health Care

On Patient Empowerment and Autonomy

…I think the answer is inherent in the goal of being engaged, and that has to do with the concept of patient autonomy – what’s essentially the capacity of a person to live and make decisions according to one’s own set of knowledge, goals and values.

Autonomy in medicine, which borders on the empowerment idea, can be an aim in itself, and therefore valuable regardless of any measured outcome.

Posted in Communication, Empowered Patient, Neurology, Patient Autonomy, Patient-Doctor Relationship, Social MediaTagged , , , , , , , , , 3 Comments on On Patient Empowerment and Autonomy

Back to Basics – But Which Ones?

A front-page story on the Humanities and Medicine Program at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, here in Manhattan, recently added to the discussion on what it takes to become a doctor in 2010. The school runs a special track for non-science majors who apply relatively early in their undergraduate years. Mount Sinai doesn’t require […]

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You’re Sick and I’m Not, Too Bad

“The insurance market as it works today basically slices and dices the population. It says, well you people with medical conditions, over here, and you people without them, over here…
– Jonathan Cohn, Editor of The New Republic, speaking on The Brian Lehrer Show, February 16, 2010*
There’s a popular, partly true, sometimes useful and very dangerous notion that we can control our health. Maybe even fend off cancer.

I like the idea that we can make smart choices, eat sensible amounts of whole foods…

Posted in Essential Lessons, health care costs, Ideas, Medical Ethics, Policy, Public Health, RadioTagged , , , , , , , 1 Comment on You’re Sick and I’m Not, Too Bad

Henrietta’s Cells Speak

“One of the ways that I gained the trust of the family is that I gave them information.” (R. Skloot, a journalist, speaking about her interactions with Henrietta Lacks’ family, Columbia University, 2/2/10)

Posted in Books, Communication, Essential Lessons, Ideas, Informed Consent, Life as a Patient, Medical Education, Medical Ethics, Oncology (cancer), Patient Autonomy, Patient-Doctor Relationship, Privacy, Reviews, Science, Women's HealthTagged , , , , , , , , , , , , 1 Comment on Henrietta’s Cells Speak
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