Physician Patient

The Morality of Physician Professionalism

Andrew Abbott and his mentor Eliot Freidson help us understand the basis of morality for the medical profession.
Eliot Freidson wrote on the ethics and underpinnings of medical professionalism.
Andrew Abbott explains the evolution of medical professionalism in this excellent overview/analysis. Click on the YouTube video above from October 2011 at the University of Chicago. Passages (28 – 31), 33 – 40), and (46 – 55) caught my attention.
As we all know, big changes in medicine have occurred after WW II (for example UK NIH, 1965 US Medicare and Medicaid, and Obamacare 2010). Changes in the moral basis for medical professionalism are influenced by the identifying of medical care as a commodity, successes in public health practices, improved medical treatments, now dominating control of services and products by (government, insurance) third party payers, and the (growing) political claim that health care in America is a human Right. But who will pay for this? And how will mounting health care costs be mitigated and by whom?
The AMA now sees the doctor’s ethical role as a steward of scare societal resources (money):
But how can she do this without knowledge of the prices for health care services and products? And how can patients as consumers make prudent choices?
MPPA sees physicians as having a primary obligation to the health and welfare of their individual patients and applying Hippocratic ethics in patient care. If the doctor’s ethical loyalties are changing, how does the medical profession justify and enforce its ethics? What does the public think about physician ethics?

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