Doctors' Conflicts of Interest (& Altruism) in the United States and Great Britain

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Book Review

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Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law


Patients often react with anxiety, not to mention indignation, to the notion that physicians derive profits from the practice of medicine.1 Could financial self-interest possibly sully their own doctors' advice? Professor Marc Rodwin's Medicine, Money & Morals: Physicians' Conflicts of Interest2 answers that question in the affirmative, giving comprehensive chapter and verse to support his conclusion. When doctors have the dominant hand in directing spending for more than 14% of this nation's GNP, it would probably be naive to expect otherwise.3 But whatever happened to the medical profession's traditional altruism and to its ethical obligation to avoid financial conflicts of interest?4 And how much clinical judgment is distorted by *688 incentives for physicians to realize secondary economic gain5 through their patients' medical problems?

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