AFP DEPARTMENT COLLECTION

Curbside Consultation

This department addresses legal, psychological, and ethical issues physicians may encounter in their day-to-day practice. Each article contains a brief case scenario, followed by a commentary section written by a consultant who responds to the particular issue addressed in the scenario.

Aug 1, 2008 Issue
Ethical Considerations of Patients with Pacemakers
Modern medicine has increasingly become infused with technology intended to extend a person's quantity and quality of life. More than 1 million persons in the United States have implantable pacemakers and the majority of this population is older than 65 years.


Jul 15, 2008 Issue
Why Can't I Get My Patients to Exclusively Breastfeed Their Babies?
A recent report from the Agency for Health-care Research and Quality has confirmed the numerous benefits of breastfeeding to mothers and their babies.


May 1, 2008 Issue
Placebo and Placebo Effects: Practical Considerations, Ethical Concerns
First, it is important to define what is meant by “placebo”. Strictly, the term placebo, taken from the Latin “I shall please,” refers to any intervention, event, or experience that evokes positive subjective or objective outcomes in a patient (or research participant).


Apr 1, 2008 Issue
A Morally Reprehensible Patient
Patients who present to the clinic without having followed the treatment plan endorsed at previous visits may frustrate us on both professional and personal levels.


Feb 15, 2008 Issue
Initial Counseling of Children with Eating Disorders and Their Families
It can be challenging to work with adolescents and their parents when eating disorders are involved.


Feb 1, 2008 Issue
Combative Delirium
In the context of their usual office or hospital settings, family physicians are not often called upon to deal with violent or hostile patients. However, just like advanced cardiac life support training prepares physicians for rare and unexpected cardiac arrest situations, knowing how to approach patients when they become combative should be a part of the acute management resource package for family physicians.


Jan 15, 2008 Issue
Combative Delirium
In the context of their usual office or hospital settings, family physicians are not often called upon to deal with violent or hostile patients. However, just like advanced cardiac life support training prepares physicians for rare and unexpected cardiac arrest situations, knowing how to approach patients when they become combative should be a part of the acute management resource package for family physicians.


Nov 1, 2007 Issue
Addressing a Patient's Refusal of Care Based on Religious Beliefs
This dilemma is complex. In this scenario, the patient limited the efforts to help her because of religious beliefs, and attempts at persuasion were not successful.


Oct 1, 2007 Issue
Responding to a Colleague Who Neglects Best Practices
The dilemma in the scenario concerns a colleague who displays a pattern of failing to perform the group's best practices.


Aug 1, 2007 Issue
Should Physicians Accept Gifts from Patients?
Social norms ingrained from early child-hood usually prescribe a polite “thank you” when a gift is received. However, the social norms that govern the relationship between the physician and patient, called professional boundaries, may require a different and more reasoned response.


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