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ARTICLE |

Must the Law Assure Ethical Behavior?

James S. Todd, MD
JAMA. 1992;268(1):98. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03490010100038.
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Success and progress always cause problems! Until fairly recently, the image of medicine was of a practitioner and patient working together in a spirit of trust and responsibility. Even with the advent of group practice, this same image persisted. Health care options, limited by a paucity of science, were simple and everyone understood the transaction. Then scientific progress quickened and the options for diagnosis and treatment exploded. Along with this began the isolation, through insurance, of both patient and physician from the economic consequences of their decisions. Following quickly was the escalation in costs of care beyond what some in society considered reasonable. Cost (really price) control was started, the intention being to reduce the volume of care given by reducing individual reimbursement: a shaky hypothesis at best.

Given this scenario, it is not surprising that physicians would look for ways to enhance the availability of all this burgeoning technology

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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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