Welcome to the Nexus of Ethics, Psychology, Morality, Philosophy and Health Care

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

Monday, September 16, 2013

Policing medical practice employees after work

Doctors can try to regulate staff actions outside the office, but they must watch what they try to stamp out and how they do it.

By Sheryl Cash
Originally posted August 26, 2013

The University of Pennsylvania Health System and its affiliates recently joined Cleveland Clinic and other hospitals in banning the employment of smokers. Proponents say such policies lower health care costs and improve employee and community health. Others believe these restrictions may be the beginning of a slippery ethical slope in which employees can be fired or banned for personal decisions and activities unrelated to their specific jobs.

The question is: Will and can private physician practices soon follow suit, banning or disciplining employees not only for smoking but also for other outside activities deemed detrimental to the image of the group? What about obesity, social media presence, hobbies and other after-work activities? Are there legitimate situations where the needs and mission of the practice, and the protection of its patients, outweigh the individual rights of the employee and potential employee? In general, are these types of bans legal and ethical?

The entire story is here.

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