Sign up | Login with →

Medical Ethics

Lack of Listening Is the Core Problem in American Health Care

April 17, 2014 by Stephen Schimpff

social listening

When doctors do not have enough time to really listen the result is that they do not listen. A study from 1984 of primary care physicians observed throughout patient visits revealed that the doctor interrupted the patient within 18 seconds on average. This lack of listening is the core care problem in American healthcare today.[read more]

Big Pharma: Direct to Consumer Marketing Is Unethical

March 24, 2014 by Terry Simpson

Direct to consumer marketing

Stop the direct-to-consumer marketing of drugs, and foster the conversation between the doctor and his patient. It is the relationship between the doctor and the “customer-owner” (formerly called patient) that will keep the patient from wanting the latest drug on the market.[read more]


Direct Primary Care Goes to Washington

February 17, 2014 by Jessica Socheski

Image from

Legislation has been proposed in Washington to allow direct primary healthcare to serve as an acceptable alternative to Obamacare’s government insurance. As this private form of care continues to grow, here are some answers about how it works and why it is being used by more and more people every year.[read more]


February 1, 2014 by Anne Weiler

23andMe testing kit

I was one of the last people to get full genomic testing using the $99 personal genomic testing kits from 23andMe before the FDA “cease and desist” letter on November 22, 2013. I had sent in my saliva sample and was waiting for results, when the following letter was published by the FDA.[read more]


Keeping an Eye Out for Medical Fraud

December 16, 2013 by Jessica Socheski

Watch out for medical fraud (image)

The federal government is losing billions of dollars each year because of Medicare fraud, reports Forbes magazine. Becoming familiar with the types of schemes in practice might help patients catch these medical crooks. Here are a few things to look out for.[read more]

Bioethics Commission Calls for More Communication, Proactivity When Dealing with Incidental Findings

December 14, 2013 by Deanna Pogorelc

molecular testing

The hullabaloo around 23andMe brought to light one unresolved issue for direct-to-consumer testing companies, and now a federal advisory panel is bringing to light another: dealing with incidental findings. Of course these kinds of findings can be lifesaving in some cases. But in others they could be distressing.[read more]

Social Media Policies and "Spying" by Physicians

December 13, 2013 by David Harlow

patient privacy / shutterstock

Art Caplan wrote a post about a patient being taken off the liver transplant list when social media posts including photos of the patient drinking alcohol came to the attention of the transplant team. Is this sort of "Big Brother" approach OK, or was it taken too far?[read more]

Bone Marrow Donation and Compensation: My Moral Dilemma

December 11, 2013 by David E Williams

marrow donation: moral dilemma (umjanedoan/photopin cc)

The federal government’s proposal to ban compensation for bone marrow collected in a less invasive manner touches a nerve for me, because a couple years ago I made a decision not to follow through as a bone marrow donor even after I had been told that I had matched with a patient.[read more]


BioPharma Beat: 23andMe - Now What?

December 4, 2013 by David Davidovic

BioPharma Beat with David Davidovic

By now everyone has heard of the very pointed and frustration-toned warning letter that 23andMe received from the F.D.A., which ordered the company to immediately stop selling and marketing their consumer genetic testing service. The question is: Now what?[read more]

Making a 5% Commitment to Medicaid

November 21, 2013 by Patricia Salber

Commitment to Medicaid

Some docs have huge medical school loans to pay off; others are in relatively low-paying specialities. But the question remains: What should be the commitment of medical professionals to ensure that the most vulnerable amongst us has access to timely care in reasonable settings (in other words, office vs. ER)?[read more]

Should Michael Jackson's Doctor Practice Medicine Again?

November 2, 2013 by Michael Kirsch

Administering propofol in a patient’s home without necessary monitoring and training is an egregious breach of standard medical practice. Those of us who use the drug properly were shocked to learn of Michael Jackson's doctor’s reckless and indefensible care.[read more]

Unpublished Clinical Trial Data: Are Scientists Who Fail to Publish Findings Unethical?

October 31, 2013 by Susan Scutti

clinical trials (public domain)

A new analysis of 585 large clinical trials registered with the government’s website,, finds that more than a quarter have never been published in scientific journals — of these unpublished trials, slightly more than three-quarters did not post the results online.[read more]