Next Article in Journal
House Demolitions
Next Article in Special Issue
Solidarity and the Encapsulated and Divided Histories of Health and Human Rights
Previous Article in Journal
Should Supported Decision-Making Replace Substituted Decision-Making? The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Coercive Treatment under Queensland’s Mental Health Act 2000
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Laws 2015, 4(2), 201-215; doi:10.3390/laws4020201

Physician Charity Care in America: Almost Always an Illusion, Ever More Commercial

1
Alden March Bioethics Institute (AMBI), Albany Medical College, Albany, NY 12208, USA
2
Department of Medical Humanities, Davidson College, Davidson, NC 28035, USA
3
Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte, NC 28203, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Aurora Plomer
Received: 21 February 2015 / Revised: 9 May 2015 / Accepted: 15 May 2015 / Published: 26 May 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioethics, Law and Human Rights: Global Intersections)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [200 KB, uploaded 26 May 2015]

Abstract

The first Code of Medical Ethics promulgated by the American Medical Association (AMA) in 1847 included a provision that essentially obligated physicians to care for those in their communities who could not afford to pay for professional services. The spirit of that provision remains embodied in today’s Code. However, a “charity care” ethical obligation may not make as much professional sense as it once did. Health care institutions have assumed a much greater role in providing charity care and many physicians are now under legal and quasi-legal obligations to provide care in some cases. Under the recently enacted Affordable Care Act (ACA)—if fully implemented—it is theorized that as many as 95% of Americans will be covered by some basic insurance plan. Perhaps today’s physicians should tailor the charity care mandate into a new jacket, which envisions that all doctors share equally in the care for those without adequate means. An individual obligation may have to make way for a more communal one in professional codes. Moreover, it may be wise to consider if there are any lessons to draw from other health care systems (e.g., the Dutch), where questions about charity care still exist within a universal health care system context. View Full-Text
Keywords: health care; physician; hospital; charity care; United States; ethics; code of ethics; American Medical Association; commercialization; Affordable Care Act health care; physician; hospital; charity care; United States; ethics; code of ethics; American Medical Association; commercialization; Affordable Care Act
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

White, B.D.; Eijkholt, M. Physician Charity Care in America: Almost Always an Illusion, Ever More Commercial. Laws 2015, 4, 201-215.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Laws EISSN 2075-471X Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top