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May 1997

Medical Ethics and the Excimer Laser

Author Affiliations

Great Neck, NY

Arch Ophthalmol. 1997;115(5):666-667. doi:10.1001/archopht.1997.01100150668020

The INTRODUCTION of the excimer laser for photorefractive keratotomy (PRK) has brought with it not only a new technology but a new partner in medical care. New corporations have been established to help introduce this new technology. This is no doubt in part due to the high cost but also may be due to the fact that the marketing required to achieve economic viability is something that medical professionals are either uncomfortable with or would rather that someone else do.1

Thus, new contractual relationships between ophthalmologists and laser companies are being formed. This may allow for more citizens to be informed of this new technology and for it to be made more readily available to them. However, this new technology and this new partnership have the potential to create notable ethical problems, in areas such as (1) agency, (2) conflicts of interest, (3) informed consent, (4) marketing and advertising,

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