Life, Death, and the Dollar Sign: Medical Ethics and Cost Containment
Author(s)Johnson, Dana E.
KeywordsAllowing to Die
Clinical Ethics Committees
Costs and Benefits
Diagnosis Related Groups
Health Maintenance Organizations
Physician Patient Relationship
Prolongation of Life
Preferred Provider Organizations
Selection for Treatment
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AbstractThe development of strategies to contain rising medical costs has the potential to alter the physician's ability to decide on the use of life-support technology. The question of whether to provide maximum life-sustaining measures may become subject to financial considerations. The intrusion of diagnosis related groups, health maintenance organizations, and preferred provider organizations into the physician patient relationship is compounded by legal liability for decisions where cost appears to have been a consideration. Physicians and hospitals may no longer be able to be unbiased patient advocates. Johnson suggests the use of review committees and other knowledgeable but disinterested parties to share responsibility and act solely in the patient's best interests. (KIE abstract)
JAMA. 1984 Jul 13; 252(2): 223-224.
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