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2.
Torture ; 31(1): 37-52, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1450937

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Freedom from Torture developed remote telephone assessments to provide interim medico-legal reports, ensuring people could obtain medical evidence to support their asylum claim. METHOD: To audit this new way of working, feedback was collected from the doctors, interpreters, individuals being assessed, and senior medical and legal staff who reviewed the reports. This paper presents findings from the first 20 assessments. RESULTS: Individuals assessed reported that the doctor developed good rapport, but in 35% of assessments reported that there were some experiences they felt unable to disclose. In 70% of assessments, doctors felt that rapport was not as good compared to face-to-face. In the majority of assessments, doctors were unable to gain a full account of the torture or its impact. They reported feeling cautious about pressing for more information on the telephone, mindful of individuals' vulnerability and the difficulty of providing support remotely. Nevertheless, in 85% of assessments doctors felt able to assess the consistency of the account of torture with the psychological findings, in accordance with the Istanbul Protocol (United Nations, 2004). Factors that hindered the assessment included the inability to observe body language, the person's ill health, and confidentiality concerns. CONCLUSION: This research indicates that psychological medico-legal reports can safely be produced by telephone assessment, but are more likely to be incomplete in terms of both full disclosure of torture experiences and psychological assessment. The limitations underline the need for a follow-up face-to-face assessment to expand the psychological assessment as well as undertake a physical assessment.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Physician-Patient Relations/ethics , Refugees/psychology , Remote Consultation/ethics , Telephone , Torture , Humans , Medical History Taking , Pandemics , Physical Examination , SARS-CoV-2 , United Kingdom/epidemiology
4.
Acad Med ; 96(7): 947-950, 2021 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1364847

ABSTRACT

While advances in science and technology continue to be at the forefront of the evolution of medical practice, the 21st century is also undergoing a unique and profound cultural shift that is changing the very nature of what it means to be a medical professional, namely humankind's transition to an information-based internet society. Medical care will increasingly depend on computer-generated probabilities guided and supported by a growing variety of individuals in health care-related professions, including statisticians, technologists, and information managers. Perhaps the biggest challenge to the profession will come from the erosion of professional autonomy, driven by smart machines, social networks, and internet search engines. As a result of these and other changes, physicians are facing a systematic loss of control, often without the direct input and leadership of the profession itself. In this commentary, the author urges the profession to adopt several strategies, including shifting its focus from reimbursement to the care patients value most, meaningfully addressing critical issues in health policy, becoming the definitive source for publicly available medical information, reimagining medical education, and overhauling the existing accreditation and licensing systems. Medical education must go beyond a focus on physicians whose professional identity revolves around being the exclusive source of medical knowledge. In the digitized 21st century, medical education should emphasize the centrality of the humanistic interface with patients such that the doctor-patient relationship is paramount in the complex medical world of machines and social media. Removing the roadblocks to successful professional reform is no small task, but the process can begin with a grassroots movement that empowers physicians and facilitates organizational and behavioral change. Failure to take action may well hasten the diminishment of patient care and the profession's trusted role in society.


Subject(s)
Education, Medical/history , Medical Informatics/instrumentation , Medicine/instrumentation , Physician-Patient Relations/ethics , Physicians/organization & administration , Access to Information , Accreditation/methods , Accreditation/trends , COVID-19/epidemiology , Education, Medical/methods , Empowerment , Health Policy , History, 21st Century , Humans , Knowledge , Leadership , Medical Informatics/legislation & jurisprudence , Medicine/statistics & numerical data , Professional Autonomy , Social Networking
6.
Acad Med ; 96(7): 954-957, 2021 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1364834

ABSTRACT

Machine learning (ML) algorithms are powerful prediction tools with immense potential in the clinical setting. There are a number of existing clinical tools that use ML, and many more are in development. Physicians are important stakeholders in the health care system, but most are not equipped to make informed decisions regarding deployment and application of ML technologies in patient care. It is of paramount importance that ML concepts are integrated into medical curricula to position physicians to become informed consumers of the emerging tools employing ML. This paradigm shift is similar to the evidence-based medicine (EBM) movement of the 1990s. At that time, EBM was a novel concept; now, EBM is considered an essential component of medical curricula and critical to the provision of high-quality patient care. ML has the potential to have a similar, if not greater, impact on the practice of medicine. As this technology continues its inexorable march forward, educators must continue to evaluate medical curricula to ensure that physicians are trained to be informed stakeholders in the health care of tomorrow.


Subject(s)
Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Education, Medical/methods , Evidence-Based Medicine/history , Machine Learning/statistics & numerical data , Aged , Algorithms , COVID-19 Testing/instrumentation , Clinical Decision-Making/ethics , Clinical Trials as Topic , Curriculum/statistics & numerical data , Delivery of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Diabetic Retinopathy/diagnosis , Diagnostic Imaging/instrumentation , Female , History, 20th Century , Humans , Liability, Legal , Male , Physician-Patient Relations/ethics , Physicians/organization & administration , Stakeholder Participation , United States , United States Food and Drug Administration/legislation & jurisprudence
7.
Support Care Cancer ; 29(8): 4195-4198, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1156946

ABSTRACT

Breaking bad news is a mandatory provision in the professional life of nearly every physician. One of its most frequent occasions is the diagnosis of malignancy. Responding to the recipients' emotions is a critical issue in the delivery of unsettling information, and has an impact on the patient's trust in the treating physician, adjustment to illness and ultimately treatment. Since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11, 2020, several measures of social distancing and isolation have been introduced to our clinical setting. In the wake of these restrictions, it is important to reexamine existing communication guidelines to determine their applicability to face-to-face counseling in the context of social distancing, as well as to new communication technologies, such as telemedicine. We address these issues and discuss strategies to convey bad news the most empathetic and comprehensible way possible.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neoplasms/psychology , Physical Distancing , Physician-Patient Relations/ethics , Telemedicine , Truth Disclosure , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/psychology , Emotional Intelligence , Humans , Neoplasms/diagnosis , Physicians/ethics , Physicians/psychology , Psycho-Oncology/methods , SARS-CoV-2 , Telemedicine/ethics , Telemedicine/methods , Telemedicine/standards
8.
Perspect Med Educ ; 10(4): 238-244, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1141531

ABSTRACT

In this article the authors review the current-day definition of professionalism through the lens of the two ongoing pandemics: COVID-19 and racism. The pandemics have led to contemporary practice-related questions, such as: does professionalism entail that health care providers (HCP) be compelled to treat patients without PPE or if patients refuse to wear masks? And what role do HCP play in society when confronted with glaring health disparities and police brutality? The authors propose using care ethics as a theory to view professionalism, as it takes into account broadly encompassing relationships between HCP and society, history and context. Professionalism viewed through a care ethics lens would require professionalism definitions to be expanded to allow for interventions, i.e., not just refrain from doing harm but actively interfere or take action if wrong is being witnessed. Principles related to the primacy of patient welfare need to be re-addressed to prevent systematic self-sacrifice which results in harm to HCP and burnout. Mature care should be a characteristic of professionalism ensuring that HCP care for the sick but be practically wise, highlighting the importance of balancing too little and too much care for self and others. Professionalism needs to be viewed as a bi-directional relational exchange, with society demonstrating solidarity with those providing care. Additionally, given the scale of health disparities, simply stating that HCP need to work towards social justice oversimplifies the problem. Professionalism needs to encompass incorporating critical action and critical pedagogy into health care training and the health care profession to demonstrate solidarity with those impacted by racism.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Ethics, Medical , Pandemics , Physicians/ethics , Professionalism , Racism , Social Justice , Burnout, Professional , Delivery of Health Care/ethics , Education, Medical , Health Personnel , Healthcare Disparities , Humans , Physician-Patient Relations/ethics , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Discrimination , Violence
9.
HEC Forum ; 33(1-2): 45-60, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1030641

ABSTRACT

This paper introduces the model of Utilitarian Principlism as a framework for crisis healthcare ethics. In modern Western medicine, during non-crisis times, principlism provides the four guiding principles in biomedical ethics-autonomy, nonmaleficence, beneficence, and justice; autonomy typically emerges as the decisive principle. The physician-patient relationship is a deontological construct in which the physician's primary duty is to the individual patient and the individual patient is paramount. For this reason, we term the non-crisis ethical framework that guides modern medicine Deontological Principlism. During times of crisis, resources become scarce, standards of care become dynamic, and public health ethics move to the forefront. Healthcare providers are forced to work in non-ideal conditions, and interactions with individual patients must be considered in the context of the crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced healthcare to shift to a more utilitarian framework with a greater focus on promoting the health of communities and populations. This paper puts forth the notion of Utilitarian Principlism as a framework for crisis healthcare ethics. We discuss each of the four principles from a utilitarian perspective and use clinical vignettes, based on real cases from the COVID-19 pandemic, for illustrative purposes. We explore how Deontological Principlism and Utilitarian Principlism are two ends of a spectrum, and the implications to healthcare as we emerge from the pandemic.


Subject(s)
Bioethics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Ethical Theory , Pandemics/ethics , Physician-Patient Relations/ethics , Principle-Based Ethics , Beneficence , Humans , Moral Obligations , Personal Autonomy , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Justice/ethics
10.
Contemp Clin Trials ; 103: 106319, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1081174

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The technologies used to treat the millions who receive care in intensive care unit (ICUs) each year have steadily advanced. However, the quality of ICU-based communication has remained suboptimal, particularly concerning for Black patients and their family members. Therefore we developed a mobile app intervention for ICU clinicians and family members called ICUconnect that assists with delivering need-based care. OBJECTIVE: To describe the methods and early experiences of a clustered randomized clinical trial (RCT) being conducted to compare ICUconnect vs. usual care. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: The goal of this two-arm, parallel group clustered RCT is to determine the clinical impact of the ICUconnect intervention in improving outcomes overall and for each racial subgroup on reducing racial disparities in core palliative care outcomes over a 3-month follow up period. ICU attending physicians are randomized to either ICUconnect or usual care, with outcomes obtained from family members of ICU patients. The primary outcome is change in unmet palliative care needs measured by the NEST instrument between baseline and 3 days post-randomization. Secondary outcomes include goal concordance of care and interpersonal processes of care at 3 days post-randomization; length of stay; as well as symptoms of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder at 3 months post-randomization. We will use hierarchical linear models to compare outcomes between the ICUconnect and usual care arms within all participants and assess for differential intervention effects in Blacks and Whites by adding a patient-race interaction term. We hypothesize that both compared to usual care as well as among Blacks compared to Whites, ICUconnect will reduce unmet palliative care needs, psychological distress and healthcare resource utilization while improving goal concordance and interpersonal processes of care. In this manuscript, we also describe steps taken to adapt the ICUconnect intervention to the COVID-19 pandemic healthcare setting. ENROLLMENT STATUS: A total of 36 (90%) of 40 ICU physicians have been randomized and 83 (52%) of 160 patient-family dyads have been enrolled to date. Enrollment will continue until the end of 2021.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Family , Intensive Care Units , Internet-Based Intervention , Mobile Applications , Palliative Care , Physician-Patient Relations/ethics , COVID-19/psychology , COVID-19/therapy , Family/ethnology , Family/psychology , Female , Humans , Intensive Care Units/ethics , Intensive Care Units/organization & administration , Male , Middle Aged , Outcome Assessment, Health Care , Palliative Care/methods , Palliative Care/psychology , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Support , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/psychology , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/rehabilitation
11.
J Korean Med Sci ; 36(3): e31, 2021 Jan 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1067644

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has caused a breakdown in the healthcare system worldwide. The need to rapidly update guidelines in order to control the transmission in the population and for evidenced-based healthcare care has led to the need for timely, voluminous and valid research. Amid the quest for a vaccine and better therapies, researchers clamouring for information has led to a wide variety of ethical issues due to the unique situation. This paper aims to examine the positive and negative aspects of recent changes in the process of obtaining informed consent. The article outlines the various aspects, from history, previously described exemptions to consenting as well as those implemented during the pandemic and the current impact of virtual methods. Further, the authors make recommendations based on the outcome of suggested adjustments described in the literature. This article looks into increasing the awareness of physicians and researchers about ethical issues that need to be addressed to provide optimal care for patients while assuring their integrity and confidentiality.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Informed Consent/ethics , Publishing/ethics , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19/transmission , Evidence-Based Medicine , Healthcare Disparities/ethics , Humans , Pandemics , Patient Education as Topic/ethics , Physician-Patient Relations/ethics
12.
JAMA Cardiol ; 5(11): 1214-1215, 2020 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-963364
16.
Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg ; 163(1): 63-64, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-133342

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced otolaryngologists and their patients to confront issues that they have rarely if ever previously faced. Prominent among these is the need to put the collective good ahead of the interests of individual patients with otolaryngologic disorders. We argue that the individual doctor-patient relationship remains paramount even at a time when public health principles mandate systems-level thinking.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Otolaryngologists/psychology , Pandemics , Physician-Patient Relations/ethics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , COVID-19 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
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