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Balancing Act: The New Medical Ethics of Medicine's New Economics

Georgetown University Press
Place of Publication: 
Washington, DC

Medicine's changing economics have already fundamentally, permanently altered the relationship between physician and patient, E. Haavi Morreim argues. Physicians must weigh a patient's interests against the legitimate, competing claims of other patients, of payers, of society as a whole, and sometimes even of the physician himself.  

Focusing on actual situations in the clinical setting, Morreim explores the complex moral problems that current economic realities pose for the practicing physician. She redefines the moral obligations of both physicians and patients, traces the specific effects of these redefined obligations on clinical practice, and explores the implications for patients as individuals and for national health policy. Although the book focuses on health care in the United States, physicians everywhere are likely to face many of the same basic issues of clinical ethics, because every system of health care financing and distribution today is constrained by finite resources. (Publisher)