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Editor's Correspondence
July 23, 2012

Of Sommeliers and Wine Drinkers

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Medicine, Texas A&M Health Science Center, College of Medicine, Temple.

Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(14):1110-1114. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2012.2057

When I pick a bottle of wine in the store, I pay for décor and the attention of a salesperson, perhaps to the detriment of quality. The goal of businesses is to maximize profit, even by catering to my other preferences if I am unable to judge quality. This is not immoral because I end up drinking a product approved for sale; no harm done.

My patients are the “wine drinkers” of health care. They are not supposed to know about medicine more than I know about wine when we are acting as average citizens. However, selling lesser quality medicine is immoral because it has the potential for harm.

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