By February 20, 2013 5 Comments Read More →

The Most Popular ‘Medical Ethic’ is Greed

Dr. William Kay, M.D, Guest Writer
Waking Times

The phrase “medical ethics” sounds great in principle, but some important questions remain unanswered.  Who is deciding what is ethical in medicine?  How are those decisions being used?  In this article we will explore some of the very ugly uses of modern “medical ethics”, namely the protection of hospital assets, limiting patient choices, obliterating the physician-patient relationship, and allowing hospital administrators to bully medical staff.

Medical ethics committees were originally created in the 1970’s and promoted as a means to protect patients from being abused by an evolving medical system that was becoming increasingly driven by greed.  Today’s hospital-based ethics committees are almost universally comprised of members who have been personally chosen by the C.E.O. of the hospital, who are themselves businessmen with no medical education.  The C.E.O.’s primary job at a hospital is to increase profits.  It is starting to look like the fox has been placed in charge of protecting the hen house, isn’t it?

Hospitals have special nurses called “utilization nurses” (that do not have any patient care responsibilities) who make rounds every day and read every doctor’s order, on every patient, inside every major hospital in the United States.  Their sole job is to identify ways to save hospital money.  Now, imagine a utilization nurse decides that the treatment plan that your doctor ordered will not make the hospital as much money as she believes it should.  After notifying your doctor that it is her recommendation to choose a more profitable form of treatment, your doctor protests, “I am the doctor, and the treatment chosen is the best one for the patient”.  The doctor is very likely to face a reprimand from the C.E.O.-appointed ethics committee for violating the supposed ethic of being uncooperative with staff and purportedly placing the community at risk for not supporting the local hospital.  You can imagine the threat to the career of a physician who is professionally labeled as “unethical”.  Let me paint the grim picture: loss of hospital privileges, dropped from insurance panels, potential loss of license, and ultimately the end of his career.

The above scenario is not simply hypothetical.  This is an active system that changes millions of doctor orders a day across this country — all for the sole purpose of increasing hospital profits, and  enforced by the power of modern medical ethics.  In my own experience, while practicing as a surgeon, I was called about twice per day on my patient orders.  In fact, my orders were often changed by the utilization nurse if she couldn’t contact me immediately!  It had been illegal in the U.S. to change a doctor’s orders if you were a nurse, but with the power of the ethics committees, nurses are directly supported by the C.E.O. as “ethically” acting in the best interest of the community!

In future articles about “medical ethics” I will share my experiences and knowledge concerning hospitals that use these committees to violate patient wishes, family wishes, taking custody of children, approving organ donation in trauma victims that were still alive and not registered as organ donors, forcing burn victims to submit to excruciating treatments against their wishes, and the list goes on.

About the Author

Dr. Kay currently offers his expertise as Medical Advocate in order to protect patient rights and ensure patient autonomy.  He can be contacted directly through his website at www.InformedHealthAdvocacy.com.

This article originally appeared at HealthWyze.

This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.

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5 Comments on "The Most Popular ‘Medical Ethic’ is Greed"

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  1. dimitri says:

    This goes to explain the rise in hospital based iatrogenic deaths. There are probably 1001 reasons to avoid hospitalization at all costs. (One is that it WILL COST you!) Bottom line: take care of your health every way you know. It’s your most valuable asset.

  2. Jim Russel says:

    Isn’t it strange how 9-1-1 emergency services are taxpayer funded, but if you happen to dial 9-1-1 and end up at a hospital, you get a bill for $3,000+?

    If you want to see a bloated bureaucracy you needn’t look further than our hospitals. They put government bureaucracy to shame.

  3. Lawrence Carson says:

    “When things don’t make an ounce of sense … its making someone a ton of money.”

    “All problems are gardens for beneficiaries. If there is no fruit the gardener stops tending his garden.”

  4. Dr. Kay, Great article. I would like to see if I can get you to do a gues post on my blog. I loved this article. We periodically interview doctors, and surgeons from around the country and I would like to give you the opportunity as well. Ill contact you through your website as well. Thanks in advance.

  5. This is a really great perspective that I think a lot of people forget about. At the end of the day it is all about making money for a business. This is why so many times the bean counters are out of touch with reality. They are paid to be calculating and have no interactions with the patients so that they can make “unbiased” medical decisions that save the most money. Im thankful that I am on the medical supply end of the healthcare system over at JRSmedical and I dont have to deal with making decisions for a profit at the cost of the patient!

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