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Welcome to the nexus of ethics, psychology, morality, philosophy and health care

Monday, March 10, 2014

The Lies That Doctors and Patients Tell

By Sandeep Jauhar
The New York Times
Originally published February 20, 2014

Here is an excerpt:


Physicians sometimes deceive, too. We don’t always reveal when we make mistakes. Too often we order unnecessary tests, to bolster revenue or to protect against lawsuits. We sometimes mislead patients that our therapies have more value, more evidence behind them, than they actually do — whether it was placebo injections from my grandfather’s era, for example, or much of the spinal surgery or angioplasty that’s done today. 

Perhaps the most powerful deceptions in medicine are the ones we direct at ourselves — at our patients’ expense. Many physicians still espouse the patriotic (but deeply misconceived) notion that the American medical system is the best in the world. We deny the sickness in our system, and the role we as a profession have played in creating that sickness. We obsessively push ourselves to do more and more tests, scans and treatments for reasons that we sometimes hide from ourselves. 

The entire article is here.
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