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May 2, 2017

Conflict of Interest and the Integrity of the Medical Profession

Author Affiliations
  • 1Longboat Key, Florida
JAMA. 2017;317(17):1725-1726. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.3191

Physicians have a moral responsibility to patients; they are trusted to place the needs and interests of patients ahead of their own, free of unwarranted outside influences on their decisions. Those who have relationships that might be seen to influence their decisions and behaviors that may affect fulfilling their responsibilities to patients must be fully transparent about them. Two types of interactions and activities involving physicians are most relevant: (1) commercial or research relationships between a physician expert and a health care company designed to advance an idea or promote a product, and (2) various gifts, sponsored meals, and educational offerings that come directly or indirectly to physicians from these companies.