Selecting subjects for participation in clinical research: one sphere of justice.
Recent guidelines from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) mandate the inclusion of adequate numbers of women in clinical trials. Ought such standards to apply internationally? Walzer's theory of justice is brought to bear on the problem, the first use of the theory in research ethics, and it argues for broad application of the principle of adequate representation. A number of practical conclusions for research ethics committees (RECs) are outlined. Eligibility criteria in clinical trials ought to be justified by trial designers. Research ethics committees ought to question criteria that seem to exclude unnecessarily women from research participation. The issue of adequate representation should be construed broadly, so as to include consideration of the representation of the elderly, persons with HIV, mental illness and substance abuse disorders in clinical research. (+info)
Report of the Psychotherapy Task Force of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
In this task force report, the authors define the field of child and adolescent psychotherapy; review the state of the field with respect to advocacy, training, research, and clinical practice; and recommend steps to ensure that psychotherapy remains a core competence of child and adolescent psychiatrists. (+info)
To tell the truth: disclosing the incentives and limits of managed care.
As managed care becomes more prevalent in the United States, concerns have arisen over the business practices of managed care companies. A particular concern is whether patients should be made aware of the financial incentives and treatment limits of their healthcare plan. At present, managed care organizations are not legally required to make such disclosures. However, such disclosures would be advisable for reasons of ethical fidelity, contractual clarity, and practical prudence. Physicians themselves may also have a fiduciary responsibility to discuss incentives and limits with their patients. Once the decision to disclose has been made, the managed care organization must draft a document that explains, clearly and honestly, limits of care in the plan and physician incentives that might restrict the care a patient receives. (+info)
Health outcomes and managed care: discussing the hidden issues.
Too often the debate over health outcomes and managed care has glossed over a series of complex social, political, and ethical issues. Exciting advances in outcomes research have raised hopes for logical medical reform. However, science alone will not optimize our patients' health, since value judgements are necessary and integral parts of attempts to improve health outcomes within managed care organizations. Therefore, to form healthcare policy that is both fair and efficient, we must examine the fundamental values and ethical concerns that are imbedded in our efforts to shape care. We must openly discuss the hidden issues including: (1) trade-offs between standardization of care and provider-patient autonomy; (2) effects of financial incentives on physicians' professionalism; (3) opportunity costs inherent in the design of insurance plans; (4) responsibilities of managed care plans for the health of the public; (5) judicious and valid uses of data systems; and (6) the politics of uncertainty. (+info)
Physician characteristics and the physician-patient relationship. Impact of sex, year of graduation, and specialty.
OBJECTIVE: To examine the association of physician sex, medical specialty, and year of graduation from medical school with attitudes and behaviours that define physician-patient relationships. Hypotheses tested are that women physicians, family physicians, and recent graduates spend more time discussing lifestyle and general health issues during patients' first visits; are more likely to report behaviours that are empathetic and that encourage communication with patients; are less likely to view their role as directive and problem-oriented; and are more supportive of patients' rights to information and participation in decision making. DESIGN: A survey was mailed to a stratified random sample of physicians between February and June 1996. SETTING: Physician practices in Ontario. PARTICIPANTS: Of 714 practising Ontario physicians, 405 (57%) responded. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Proportion of time and actual time spent discussing a patient's lifestyle during a first visit, communication style, attitudes regarding a directive approach to care, and attitudes regarding patients' rights. RESULTS: Women physicians and family physicians spent significantly more time discussing lifestyle during a first visit. Women, family physicians, and recent graduates were significantly more likely to report an empathetic communication style. Women and recent graduates were significantly less likely to have a directive, problem-oriented approach to care. Family physicians were significantly less supportive of patients' rights than medical and surgical specialists were. CONCLUSIONS: Physicians in this study reported empathetic communication styles and attitudes that support information sharing and patients' rights. (+info)
Genetic privacy: orthodoxy or oxymoron?
In this paper we question whether the concept of "genetic privacy" is a contradiction in terms. And, if so, whether the implications of such a conclusion, inevitably impact on how society comes to perceive privacy and responsibility generally. Current law and ethical discourse place a high value on self-determination and the rights of individuals. In the medical sphere, the recognition of patient "rights" has resulted in health professionals being given clear duties of candour and frankness. Dilemmas arise, however, when patients decline to know relevant information or, knowing it, refuse to share it with others who may also need to know. This paper considers the notions of interconnectedness and responsibility to others which are brought to the fore in the genetic sphere and which challenge the primacy afforded to personal autonomy. It also explores the extent to which an individual's perceived moral obligations can or should be enforced. (+info)
Genetic testing: a conceptual exploration.
This paper attempts to explore a number of conceptual issues surrounding genetic testing. It looks at the meaning of the terms, genetic information and genetic testing in relation to the definition set out by the Advisory Committee on Genetic Testing in the UK, and by the Task Force on Genetic Testing in the USA. It argues that the special arrangements that may be required for the regulation of genetic tests should not be determined by reference to the nature or technology of the test, but by considering those morally relevant features that justify regulation. Failure to do so will lead to the regulation of genetic tests that need not be regulated, and would fail to cover other tests which should be regulated. The paper also argues that there is little in the nature of the properties of gene tests, using DNA or chromosomes, that in itself justifies a special approach. (+info)
Cross-border alliances in health care: international co-operation between health insurers and providers in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine.
On behalf of the European Commission, a Cross-Border Health Care Project was undertaken to explore how citizens living in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine can obtain improved access to health services in the Member States concerned: Belgium, Germany, and The Netherlands. Main attention of the project is focused on practical issues of cross-border health care. The first results have shown that the new cross-border health alliances resulted in improved possibilities for patients to access more health care facilities than before. The creation of health care alliances could also be an example for future collaboration between the countries in Western, Central, and Eastern Europe. This paper also analyses the rights of patients on cross-border care in the Euregion. (+info)