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Association for Medical Ethics

AME Announces Updated Mission Statement

A Commitment to Patient Care and Advancing the Practice of Medicine

Since its inception, the Association for Medical Ethics has been dedicated to promoting patient care and evidence-based medicine, while also providing increased understanding to the public of the pervasive, and at times, detrimental influence of industry on health care providers and patients.

While these tenants hold true, AME also wanted to highlight its ongoing support for physicians and organizations to work together with the medical industry to develop new drugs, devices and treatments, as long as these relationships are transparent and legitimate. The updated AME Mission Statement reflects the organization's on-going commitment to patient care and to their peers in the medical community.

"The AME Mission Statement has been updated by our Board of Directors in order to clarify some of our beliefs including making clear that our organization supports all legitimate physician activities including physicians working with industry in order to advance the practice of medicine," said Dr. Charles Burton, AME Board President.

The updated mission statement can be viewed here »

Renowned Physicians, Legal Advocates and Medical Industry Professionals set to discuss the state of medicine at the AME UCI Symposium

Under the Influence - Medicine in the post Physician Payment Sunshine Act World- Changes, Challenges and Confusion

Event to be held on Feb. 28, 2014 in Irvine, Calif.

The Association for Medical Ethics has joined with the University of California, Irvine to host the upcoming AME Symposium - Under the Influence - Medicine in the post Physician Payment Sunshine Act World-Changes, Challenges and Confusion, to be held from 1 pm to 5 pm on Friday, February 28, 2014 at the Beckman Center in Irvine, Calif., with a cocktail reception to follow.

"The need for ongoing, open dialogue on the role of influence in medicine is important in this era of medical transparency, which is why AME is sponsoring this informative symposium," said Dr. Charles Rosen, Co-Founder of the Association for Medical Ethics.

"We are gathering a panel of participants that will speak to the changing face of medicine from the research labs and patient care to the development of medical technology and new procedures. Our meeting will look at how the Physician Payment Sunshine Act is changing medicine today and will continue to change medicine for years to come."

This afternoon symposium will feature physicians, researchers, attorneys and medical industry professionals as they present and discuss the latest information on state of medicine today and in the future, as the implementation of the Physician Payment Sunshine Act impacts the medical community.

Speakers will include:

  1. Charles Rosen, MD
    Clinical Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine; Co-Founder of the Association for Medical Ethics,

    Dr. Rosen will be reporting on the Physician Sunshine Act and how this landmark legislation is being put into practice from medical offices and research labs to hospitals and pharmaceutical corporations.
  2. Ralph Clayman, MD
    Dean of Medicine at the University of California, Irvine

    Dean Clayman will speak on the moral and ethical challenges of surgical innovation. He will draw upon his background in developing new surgical procedures to explore a number of issues including obtaining informed consent to outlining financial implications.
  3. Zeev Kain, MD
    Associate Dean for Clinical Research, Chair, Department of Anesthesiology and Professor of Anesthesiology at the University of California, Irvine

    Dr. Kain is an internationally renown anesthesiologist specializing in the clinical management of perioperative fear and anxiety, and management of children undergoing invasive medical procedures. His presentation, Not Biting the Hand that Feeds You: How to Manipulate Randomized Controlled Trials, promises to be an intriguing look at the state of medical research.
  4. Allan Korn, MD
    Former Chief Medical Officer at Blue Cross Blue Shield

    As the former chief medical officer and senior vice president for clinical affairs for Blue Cross Blue Shield, Dr. Korn has in-depth knowledge on how health plans can impact patient care. He will present an administrator's view of the medical industry.
  5. Scott Lederhaus, MD
    Neurosurgeon, Inland Neurosurgery Institute and AME Board Member

    Dr. Lederhaus will discuss the medical community's persistent arguments on Physician Owned Distributors and the U.S. Department of Health's warning that challenges the legality of such businesses, including the possibility of Anti-Kickback violations being brought against owners.

Additional panelists will also present updates on transparency in medicine and legal implications surrounding the Physician's Payment Sunshine Act.

Click here to register for the symposium and for email updates on this and other AME events.

Doctors in the News

Anatomy of a Tragedy

Dr. Christopher Duntsch's patients ended up maimed and dead, but the real tragedy is that the Texas Medical Board couldn't stop him.

by Saul Elbein, The Texas Observer

In late 2010, Dr. Christopher Duntsch came to Dallas to start a neurosurgery practice. By the time the Texas Medical Board revoked his license in June 2013, Duntsch had left two patients dead and four paralyzed in a series of botched surgeries.

Physicians who complained about Duntsch to the Texas Medical Board and to the hospitals he worked at described his practice in superlative terms. They used phrases like "the worst surgeon I've ever seen." One doctor I spoke with, brought in to repair one of Duntsch's spinal fusion cases, remarked that it seemed Duntsch had learned everything perfectly just so he could do the opposite. Another doctor compared Duntsch to Hannibal Lecter three times in eight minutes.

When the Medical Board suspended Duntsch's license, the agency's spokespeople too seemed shocked.

"It's a completely egregious case,'' Leigh Hopper, then head of communications for the Texas Medical Board, told The Dallas Morning News in June. "We've seen neurosurgeons get in trouble but not one such as this, in terms of the number of medical errors in such a short time."

But the real tragedy of the Christopher Duntsch story is how preventable it was. Over the course of 2012 and 2013, even as the Texas Medical Board and the hospitals he worked with received repeated complaints from a half-dozen doctors and lawyers begging them to take action, Duntsch continued to practice medicine. Doctors brought in to clean up his surgeries decried his "surgical misadventures," according to hospital records. His mistakes were obvious and well-documented. And still it took the Texas Medical Board more than a year to stop Duntsch—a year in which he kept bringing into the operating room patients who ended up seriously injured or dead.

Reference for additional information:


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