Must Doctors Comply with Unconventional Requests of Patients?

A growing interest in “transhumanism” has presented an ethical dilemma for doctors. Individuals, like the bioartist Stelarc, are seeking surgeons who will perform unconventional procedures such as surgically implanting an ear on a forearm. For various reasons, most doctors are unwilling to perform these procedures. However, bioethicist, Francesca Minerva, argues that doctors should comply with these requests as long as they are legal.  According to Minerva, it is not the responsibility of individual physicians, but the responsibility of the government to determine whether or not such procedures are beneficial to society.  She further explains that, until the government makes such determination by promulgating new laws and regulations, denying individuals the opportunity to “enhance” their bodies violates patient autonomy.

From Bioedge, “Is it ethical to refuse a patient surgery for body art?”

Excerpt from article:

‘According to the basic principle of respect for autonomy, patients are entitled to decide if undergoing a certain treatment is in their best interest. And what constitutes one’s best interest is, at least in large part, based on one’s own assessment.’ If a request is legal, an ethical doctor must comply.

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SAIC Seeks to Curb Corruption in China’s Pharmaceutical Industry

China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) is increasing its investigatory efforts into the Chinese pharmaceutical industry and medical services sector. The SAIC is focusing on the price of medicine, and whether companies are in violation of anti-trust legislation. The SAIC will severely punish those engaged in acts of bribery in the bidding process for pharmaceuticals and medical services because bribery inflates prices artificially and hurts consumers.

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75-year-old Japanese Man Dies After He Was Refused Treatment by 25 Hospitals

Last week in Kuki City an elderly man began experiencing chest pains and was picked up by ambulance; however, he was refused treatment 36 times at 25 different hospitals. The hospitals claimed that they lacked sufficient resources to attend to the patient. A Kuki City representative admitted “that being denied medical care more than 36 times was excessive.” In 2011, more than 17,000 cases of ER patients were refused treatments in three or more hospitals, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Fire and Disaster Management Agency.

Read the original article here.