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ACP's "Ethical Choices," 2nd Edition, Addresses Everyday Medical Dilemmas

Philadelphia -- (Feb. 23, 2005) "Ethical Choices: Case Studies for Medical Practice," second edition, has been released by the American College of Physicians. The book includes new case studies on topics that have long been the subject of medical ethics debates: futility, organ donation and procurement, and physician treatment of relatives.

"Ethical Choices: Case Studies for Medical Practice" is edited by Lois Snyder, JD, director of the ACP Center for Ethics and Professionalism and an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania Center for Bioethics. New topics to the second edition include complementary and alternative medicine, direct-to-consumer prescription drug advertising, and technological advances such as genetic testing.

In using case studies, the book makes ethical principles more relevant to daily medical practice by exploring their application to common clinical situations. At the same time, it motivates readers to consider important but seemingly mundane issues of everyday medical encounters and demonstrates medical ethics in action.

Twenty-eight ethical topics are presented in four chapters: For each topic, a case history is presented, followed by a commentary, references, and an annotated bibliography to guide readers to the latest sources of information. The commentaries accompanying each case history expand on principles contained in ACP policy, mostly as found in the fourth edition of the ACP Ethics Manual.

"Ethical Choices: Case Studies for Medical Practice" was developed under the auspices of the ACP Ethics and Human Rights Committee. The committee continues to develop case studies in an ongoing series. "Ethical Choices: Case Studies for Medical Practice" is available from ACP Customer Service at 800-523-1546, ext. 2600, or order online at www.acponline.org. The 188-page softcover book is listed at $30. and is available to ACP members for $25. The book's table of contents may be viewed at http://www.acponline.org/ethics/casestudies/ethic_choices.htm.

ACP (Doctors of Internal Medicine. Doctors for Adults.) is the largest medical-specialty organization and second-largest physician group in the United States. Membership includes 116,000 internists, related subspecialists, and medical students. Internists specialize in the prevention, detection and treatment of illnesses in adults.

The American College of Physicians was founded in 1915 to promote the science and practice of medicine. In 1998 it merged with the American Society of Internal Medicine, which was established in 1956 to study economic aspects of medicine. ACP works to enhance the quality and effectiveness of health care by fostering excellence and professionalism in the practice of medicine.

Ethical Choices: Case Studies for Medical Practice. Second Edition

Table of Contents

Introduction to Medical Ethics
Part I: The Patient & Physician: The Clinical Encounter
Deciding How Much Care Is Too Much
Should DoctorsTreat Their Relatives?
When Patients Want Alternative Therapies
The Ethical Dilemma of Genetic Testing
Talking About Organ Procurement When a Patient Dies
Physician-Assisted Suicide
Physician-Assisted Suicide Revisited: Comfort and Care at the End of Life
Ethics and Elder Neglect

Part II: The Patient & Physician: Non-clinical Dimensions of the Relationship
Direct-to-Consumer Advertisements:How should You Handle the Pressure?
Documenting Sensitive Information: A Dilemma for Physicians
The Older Impaired Driver
Referrals and Patient Wishes
Patient Prejudice
Do You Need to Tell Patients About Mistakes?
Disclosure of Errors and Threat of Malpractice?
Sex and the Single Physician

Part III: Medicine's Collective Obligations
Nursing Home "Dumps" : Should You Go Along or Speak Up?
Industry Sponsored Trials and Community Doctors
Checking Up on Immigrants: A Job for Physicians?
Should Doctors Participate in Executions?
Ethics and Medicaid Patients
The Duty to Treat HIV-Positive Patients
The Impaired Colleague
When Residents and Attendings Disagree
Medical Resident, Attendings, and Mistakes

Part IV: The Business of Medicine: Effects on the Patient-Physician Relationship
Are Health Plan Incentive Hurting Generalist-Specialist Relationships
Financial Incentives and Physician Decision-Making
Pharmaceutical Industry Support of Continuing Medical Education

Lynda Teer, 215-351-2655 or 800-523-1546, ext. 2655, E-mail lteer@acponline.org

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