Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie,
MD, PhD, Senior Editor.
To the Editor: Mr Dana and Dr Loewenstein1 focused their commentary on self-serving bias,
which is always a factor in human decision-making, including the decisions
of physicians. However, physicians' professional obligation to place their
patients' interests above their own should not be overlooked, because it lies
at the root of medical ethics and professionalism. To care for patients, for
example, physicians often must set aside some personal interests—such
as leisure and time spent with family and friends—throughout their careers.
Similarly, while physicians expect fair compensation for their services, they
also pledge to provide care on the basis of their patients' needs and not
to profit unduly from their patients' conditions.
Goldrich MS. Psychological Aspects of Gifts From Drug CompaniesPsychological Aspects of Gifts From Drug Companies. JAMA. 2003;290(18):2404-2405. doi:10.1001/jama.290.18.2404-a