Do Physicians Have a Responsibility to Meet the Health Care Needs of Society?

An interesting article appears in the Fall 2012 issue of the The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics by Allan S. Brett titled “Physicians Have a Responsibility to Meet the Health Care Needs of Society.” Allan opens the article by addressing a question that was posed to Ron Paul in the 2012 presidential election by Wolf Blizter which I mentioned before on this post http://blog.teethremoval.com/dumb-americans-trust-their-doctors-for-no-valid-reason/. Allan aruged that Ron Paul agreed with the sentiment that “physicians have a responsibility to meet the health care needs of society.” In the article Allan makes the following case. “In the rest of this essay, I first demonstrate that society is already organized— at least in part — to rescue sick people regardless of ability to pay, and that society is not prepared to abandon that general guiding principle. It follows that physicians — … Read more

Controversy Over Spinal Fusion

Debate over spinal fusion surgery continues to occur. A recent article tiled “Spinal fusions serve as a case study for debate over when certain surgeries are necessary,” appears in the Washington Post written by Peter Whoriskey and Dan Keating and published on October 27, 2013. (Note I have previously mentioned some of the controversy over spinal fusion in the post Tips to Prevent Medical Errors – AHRQ) The article mentions that spinal fusions being performed in the U.S. has risen over the years and that around half of the surgeries they reviewed don’t meet expert consensus on when the surgery should be performed. This article discusses a surgeon at a Florida hospital who was earning well over a million a year performing spinal fusions on patients. Auditors at the hospital began to wonder if all the cases were necessary and … Read more

The Immune System in Critically Ill Children with Influenza

An interesting article discussed the results of a study looking at the immune system in critically ill children. The article describes a study published in early 2013 in the January issue of Critical Care Medicine. Recent evidence indicates that the suppression of innate immune system function can occur in critically ill patients. In this study patients with innate immune suppression produced reduced amounts of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α  when their blood is stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). The article states “Results indicated that despite high levels of circulating pro-inflammatory cytokines, critically ill children with influenza demonstrated lower TNFα production capacity compared with healthy control subjects. Further, children who died from influenza had markedly lower TNFα production capacity compared with survivors.” Hence this study suggests that the reduction of immune function in these children who are critically ill may make them more prone … Read more

The Optional Alternative to Medical Injury Claims

Previously on this blog I have discussed some of the issues with medical malpractice in the United States and some potential alternatives. In this post Potential Alternatives to the Current Medico-Legal System in the United States I talk about some possible alternatives such as having some agreement directly with the physician and hence avoiding trial lawyers. In this provocative post How to Improve Your Chances to Win a Dental Malpractice Lawsuit I discuss the 4 elements you need to win a malpractice suit in the U.S. and a possible suggestion to help improve your chances of doing so. Last year, Kevin Pho known as “social media’s leading physician voice” discussed in a post written on July 16, 2012, titled “The New York medical malpractice crisis: Who’s to blame?,” how some financially struggling hospitals are going without medical malpractice insurance and just … Read more

Justice and Fairness in the U.S. Healthcare System

An interesting article appears in the Fall 2012 issue of the “The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics” titled “Justice and Fairness: A Critical Element in U.S. Health System Reform,” written by Paul T. Menzel. In the article Paul discusses how unfettered competitive markets in health insurance generate market failure. The market failure of course is the fact that in an unfettered competitive market, health insurance will inevitably be out of reach for many (even most) of those who desire and need it most. In the article Paul discusses a term he coins the Just Sharing principle “The financial burdens of medical misfortunes ought to be shared equally by well and ill alike, unless individuals can be reasonably expected to control those misfortunes by their own choices.” Paul goes on to say “Just Sharing is incompatible with pre-existing condition exclusions, … Read more