sexta-feira, 29 de abril de 2011

Conflitos de interesse na educação médica: declaração pode não ajudar

Stumbling into Bad Behavior, New York Times

The authors, Max H. Bazerman and Ann E. Tenbrunsel, are academics who wrote a book about ethical blind spots. They note that regulators, prosecutors, and journalists tend to focus on corruption caused by willful actions or ignorance, but this overlooks unintentional lapses: ”Our legal system often focuses on whether unethical behavior represents ‘willful misconduct’ or ‘gross negligence.’ Typically people are only held accountable if their unethical decisions appear to have been intentional — and of course, if they consciously make such decisions, they should be. But unintentional influences on unethical behavior can have equally damaging outcomes.”

This caught my attention as it relates to conflicts of interest in medicine. For example, I have long expressed ethical concerns regarding the willful participation of physicians in pharmaceutical promotion. It is a clear conflict of interest to purport to be an unbiased advisor to patients, while at the same time choosing to attend (or deliver) overtly slanted marketing presentations. However, defenders of such participation say they deserve more credit: They cannot be corrupted, and would never willingly deliver biased medical advice no matter how drug or device manufacturers reward them.


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