Navigation Links
WebMD Study: U.S. Doctors Deeply Divided on Many Matters of Ethical Ambiguity
Date:11/19/2012

NEW YORK, Nov. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- WebMD Health Corp. (NASDAQ: WBMD), the leading source of health information, today released the findings of a new survey from Medscape from WebMD that reveals U.S. physicians are deeply divided on many ethical decisions that could significantly impact patients and their families.

Medscape's 2012 Ethics Survey examined how more than 24,000 U.S. physicians would react when faced with a wide range of ethical dilemmas, including end-of-life care, physician performance, abortion, romantic relationships with patients, malpractice, insurance, and patient communications and consent.

"The increasing number of conflicting forces makes ethical decisions tougher and more wrenching for physicians," said Leslie Kane, MA, executive editor of Medscape Business of Medicine. "Technological advances, new regulations, and more pressure to control costs all fight with the doctors' desire to give patients the best possible care. Some ethical issues are life-and-death struggles, and doctors take them strongly to heart."

With continuing technological advancements, compounded with mandates for the appropriate expenditure of resources, physicians are facing more ethical issues than in the past.

  • Defensive Medicine: When asked if it is acceptable to perform "unnecessary" procedures because of malpractice concerns, 23% of physicians responded "yes," 55% "no," and 22% said "it depends."
  • Cost Containment: When asked if a patient who is "nonadherent" or "overuses" resources should be dismissed, 32% responded "yes," 33% said "no," and 36% said "it depends."
  • Insurance: When asked if insurers should be dropped if they do not pay well, even if longtime patients must stop seeing them, 27% of physicians surveyed responded "yes," 41% said "no," and 33% said "it depends."

Decisions about the legal and financial implications of recommended care were not the only contentious issues among physicians. End-of-life care, which has been a key ethical dilemma during recent years, also revealed a sharp divide among physicians:

  • When asked if physician-assisted suicide should be allowed in some situations, 47% of physicians said "yes," 40% said "no," and 13% said "it depends."
  • When asked if they would give life-sustaining therapy if they believe it to be futile, 35% said "yes," 24% said "no," and 41% said "it depends."

"Armed with technology that can keep many terminally ill patients alive for months and years, doctors today face an extremely complicated decision that is often compounded by the wishes of family members," Kane said. "Despite the complexity of these dilemmas, our survey revealed that doctors feel a significant amount of compassion for their patients -- even if that might lead them to consider actions that may risk their medical license."

The Medscape 2012 Ethics Survey found that 12% of physicians said "yes" and 13% said "it depends" when asked if it is acceptable to overstate or falsify a patient's condition when submitting claims or seeking prior authorization. The majority (75%) of responding physicians, however, said "no."

To learn more about the Medscape 2012 Ethics Survey findings and qualitative physician responses, visit http://www.medscape.com/features/slideshow/public/ethics2012.

For additional information on ethics within the business of medicine, visit http://www.medscape.com/resource/ethics.

*Medscape 2012 Ethics Survey Methodology: Medscape's 2012 Ethics Survey was intended to identify how U.S. physicians would react to a wide range of ethical dilemmas and which ethical dilemmas are the most difficult to navigate. Medscape conducted the survey during August and September and received responses from more than 24,000 physicians across 25 specialties.

About Medscape

Medscape is the flagship site in WebMD's Professional Network. Medscape and Medscape Mobile are free, registration-based services that provide physicians and other health care professionals with comprehensive resources across 30 medical specialty areas, including medical news and perspectives, clinical reference tools, and continuing medical education. 

About WebMD

WebMD Health Corp. (NASDAQ: WBMD) is the leading provider of health information services, serving consumers, physicians, health care professionals, employers, and health plans through our public and private online portals, mobile platforms, and health-focused publications.

The WebMD Health Network includes WebMD Health, Medscape, MedicineNet, eMedicineHealth, RxList, theheart.org, Medscape Education, and other owned WebMD sites.


'/>"/>
SOURCE WebMD Health Corp.
Copyright©2012 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine technology :

1. WebMD Taps David C. Marek to Assume Consumer Leadership Role
2. Clinical Study: Dietary Supplement SagaPro Reduces Frequent Urination
3. Inaugural Harris Poll Physician Pulse(SM) Study: Viagra® and Cialis® are Highest Ranked in Trust
4. National Study: Teen "Heavy" Marijuana Use Up 80 Percent Since 2008, One in Ten Teens Reports Using Marijuana at Least 20 Times a Month
5. The Japanese Cancer Association and Debiopharm Group Present Doctors Oshima and Tanaka with the 2012 JCA-Mauvernay Award for their Innovative and Outstanding Cancer Research
6. Africa Needs Engineers as Much as Doctors to Save Lives, says South African Industrialist
7. Africa Needs Engineers as Much as Doctors to Save Lives, says South African Entrepreneur
8. Latest Trend in Drug Manufacturer Sales Allows Doctors to Obtain Product Samples Online
9. Eaton Scientific Discusses Positive Anecdotal Feedback from Pharmacist Compounding Homatropine for Doctors Treating Patients Experiencing Hot Flash Symptoms in the Beverley Hills and Los Angeles Area.
10. New Program Has Doctors, Patients Learn Together As Traditional Relationship Changes Forever
11. Doctors at St. Josephs Hospital Stopping Atrial Fibrillation Cold
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/26/2016)... -- Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc (Nasdaq: JAZZ ) ... Improvements Act of 1976, as amended ("HSR"), with respect ... Nasdaq: CPXX ) expired effective June 24, ... As previously announced on May 31, 2016, Jazz Pharmaceuticals ... which Jazz Pharmaceuticals has commenced a tender offer for ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016  Consumers have ... and regulators/payers have placed more emphasis on patient ... patient support programs in the pharmaceutical industry have ... medications. Consequently, pharmaceutical companies are focusing on becoming ... are providing products and services that improve health. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016   Bay Area Lyme Foundation ... Dean Center for Tick Borne Illness , Harvard ... MIT Hacking Medicine, University of California, Berkeley, and ... the five finalists of Lyme Innovation , ... than 100 scientists, clinicians, researchers, entrepreneurs, and investors ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... ... legally blind and certified personal trainer is helping to develop a weight loss fitness plan ... fix the two major problems leading the fitness industry today:, , ... They don’t eliminate all the reasons people quit their exercise program ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand gesture animations, FCPX users can easily ... of Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s package transforms over 1,300 hand-drawn pictures ... . Simply select a ProHand generator and drag it above media or text in ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... Conventional wisdom preaches the benefits of moderation, whether it’s a matter of ... too high can result in disappointment, perhaps even self-loathing. However, those who set the ... Research from PsychTests.com reveals that behind the tendency to set low expectations ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... and Scientific Sessions in Dallas that it will receive two significant new grants ... grants came as PHA marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical professionals ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... People across the U.S. are sharpening their pencils and ... essay contest in which patients and their families pay tribute to a genetic counselor ... National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Annual Education Conference (AEC) this September. , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):