Medical Ethics

Is this new treatment what I really should have? What is Evidenced-Based Medicine? How can I tell if medical research is biased?

Patients are faced with so many questions as they navigate the healthcare system. To answer a number of questions about topics from Physician Owned Distributorships to the newest drugs or latest surgery options, we have compiled a number of articles to give you some easy to understand answers.

Ethical Rules of Disclosure

Co-sponsored by the Association for Ethics in Spine Surgery, a symposium was held on June 27, 2008 at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine for the purpose of addressing a perceived lack of disclosure in medicine. Specifically, the symposium addressed the precise amounts of money being given by medical companies to the physicians who are influencing medicine with their research and opinions.

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Bias in Research

There are many types of biases in research that have been categorized. They fall mainly into three groups with subcategories in each. These are listed below, with an explanation of the more common types.

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Physician Owned Distributorships

The PODs are groups of physicians, usually surgeons, who agree to purchase implanted devices such as total joint prostheses or spinal hardware (i.e. pedicle screws, cages, and rods). The physicians in the POD profit financially by participating in the sale of medical devices intended for implantation in their own patients, thus creating the opportunity for them to profit from their own referrals.

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Evidence-Based Medicine

In the 1990s, the lines blurred between the proper practice of medicine and the medical industry boom of procedures, devices, products, treatments and diagnostic tests available for a vast array of diseases.

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To find out more about the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, drugs, doctors and medical devices, you can take a look at these informative articles.

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