Medical Practice Guidelines as Malpractice Safe Harbors: Illusion or Deceit?
ABSTRACT American medicine has long sought to control the standard of care that physicians are expected to provide to their patients. One effort to insulate the standard of care from external interference, called a "safe harbors" approach, would enable physicians to avoid liability for malpractice if they adhered to medical practice guidelines. The idea is to eliminate the "battle of experts" and reduce defensive medicine by requiring judges and juries to accept guidelines as conclusive evidence of the standard of care. Yet current efforts to improve the guideline development process, including the use of evidence-based guidelines, are unlikely to be able to overcome the shortcomings that led a similar safe harbors initiative to fail in the early 1990s. Moreover, there is no adequate justification for conferring this degree of self-regulatory power on the medical profession.
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ABSTRACT: The possibility that industry is exerting an undue influence on the culture of medicine has profound implications for the profession's public health mission. Policy analysts, investigative journalists, researchers, and clinicians have questioned whether academic-industry relationships have had a corrupting effect on evidence-based medicine. Psychiatry has been at the heart of this epistemic and ethical crisis in medicine. This article examines how commercial entities, such as pharmaceutical companies, influence psychiatric taxonomy and treatment guidelines. Using the conceptual framework of institutional corruption, we show that organized psychiatry's dependence on drug firms has led to a distortion of science. We describe the current dependency corruption and argue that transparency alone is not a solution. We conclude by taking the position that the corruption of the evidence base in diagnostic and practice guidelines has compromised the informed consent process, and we suggest strategies to address this problem.The Journal of Law Medicine & Ethics 09/2013; 41(3):644-653. DOI:10.1111/jlme.12074 · 0.94 Impact Factor
- BMJ (online) 09/2013; 347(sep17 3):f5535. DOI:10.1136/bmj.f5535 · 16.38 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In veterinary medical education, it is now necessary to design competency frameworks (CFs) that list expected competencies at graduation. Three different CFs with different formats and contents have been published in Europe, such as the Day One Skills (DOS), the recommendations of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), and the Veterinary Professional (VetPro). In the current study, on the basis of a survey among Belgian veterinarians, a fourth document was designed that lists the necessary knowledge, skills, and attitudes grouped into families according to professional situations. The objectives of this study were to assess the perception of CFs by various categories of stakeholders, identify the possible uses of CFs, and determine whether one format should be preferred to another. We used a qualitative approach based on semi-structured face-to-face interviews with different stakeholders after they had reviewed the four different documents (CFs). This study showed that an obligation to design CFs was clearly perceived by academic and professional authorities. Teachers and veterinarians may be either enthusiastic or apprehensive about CFs, while students perceive the usefulness of the documents to plan and assess their learning objectives. Three main roles of CFs were identified: they can be used as communication tools, regulatory tools, or educational tools. However, not one of the documents used in this study was perceived to fulfill all roles. It is therefore likely that no one ideal document yet exists and a combination of formats is necessary.Journal of Veterinary Medical Education 10/2013; 41(1):1-10. DOI:10.3138/jvme.0413-062R1 · 0.83 Impact Factor