Cardiologist/blogger "Dr. Wes" described an interesting medical ethics dilemma in his recent blog post, "A Case of Fraud".
In short, a cardiologist had to choose between doing what was right for the patient vs. following Medicare rules.
I don't know how often this happens. And I'm glad this particular doctor fulfilled his responsibility to his patient.
But we'll see more of these conflicts as Medicare imposes increasingly restrictive rules on how physicians are allowed to practice. Many current doctors will still quietly do the right thing for their patients. But over time, we'll see a new generation of doctors more willing to comply with government edicts even if it goes against their Hippocratic Oaths to work for their patients' best medical interests.
And this isn't just abstract theorizing.
Some day, you might be that patient in the cardiac cath lab. On that day, you'd better hope you have a doctor still willing to act in your best interests.
(Read the full text of "A Case of Fraud".)