What's so special about medicine?
- Daniel P. SulmasyAffiliated withCenter for Clinical Bioethics, Georgetown University School of Medicine
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Health care has increasingly come to be understood as a commodity. The ethical implications of such an understanding are significant. The author argues that health care is not a commodity because health care (1) is non-proprietary, (2) serves the needs of persons who, as patients, are uniquely vulnerable, (3) essentially involves a special human relationship which ought not be bought or sold, (4) helps to define what is meant by ‘necessity’ and cannot be considered a commodity when subjected to rigorous conceptual analysis. The Oslerian conception that medicine is a calling and not a business ought to be reaffirmed by both the profession and the public. Such a conception would have significant ramifications for patient care and health care policy.
Key wordseconomics efficiency of health care ethics health care as a commodity medicine as a business physician-patient relationship
- What's so special about medicine?
Volume 14, Issue 1 , pp 27-42
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Kluwer Academic Publishers
- Additional Links
- efficiency of health care
- health care as a commodity
- medicine as a business
- physician-patient relationship
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Center for Clinical Bioethics, Georgetown University School of Medicine, 312 Kober-Cogan Hall, 20007, Washington, D.C., USA