Medicine and the law: Important ethical questions
From medical liability reform to undocumented patients, the medical world often intersects with the law. When these two worlds meet, how can physicians address the ethical and legal questions that shape the present and future of the practice of medicine?
The March issue of the AMA Journal of Ethics explores key ethical concepts that determine the ways in which medicine and the law merge. Articles featured in this issue include:
- “How should clinicians treat patients who might be undocumented?” Physicians should never discriminate against patients or violate patients’ legal rights. Find out how to use professional ethical principles to guide you through questions that arise when undocumented patients come to your office seeking treatment.
- “Shedding privacy along with our genetic material: What constitutes adequate legal protection against harms of surreptitious genetic testing?” Unauthorized uses of patients’ DNA are not always adequately addressed by the law. How can physicians establish legal privacy protections that actually work? Learn how a focus on ethics can help.
- “Privacy protection in billing and health insurance communications.” Medical bills and explanations of benefits can contain protected health information. What can physicians do to respond to patients’ concerns that this information could be unintentionally disclosed? Learn about the unique privacy issues that have been raised as a result of the streamlining of the health care business.
- “Medical malpractice reform—historical approaches, alternative models, and communication and resolution programs.” To be effective, medical liability reform must balance everyone’s needs and offer protections for all parties involved. Explore alternatives to lawsuits that are being developed and implemented in practices across the country.
In the journal’s March podcast, Megan Sandel, MD, medical director of the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership, discusses how physicians can establish healthy partnerships with attorneys.
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The journal’s editorial focus is on commentaries and articles that offer practical advice and insights for medical students and physicians. Submit your work for publication.