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Soc. Sci. 2016, 5(4), 53; doi:10.3390/socsci5040053

Prescribing under the Influence: The Business of Breastmilk Substitutes

1
College of Business, Victoria University, Vic 3000, Australia
2
College of Business, GUST University, Hawally 32093, Kuwait
3
Kuwait Maastricht Business School, Al-Dasmah 35003, Kuwait
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Martin J. Bull
Received: 7 June 2016 / Revised: 25 August 2016 / Accepted: 22 September 2016 / Published: 25 September 2016
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Abstract

This study draws on a general theoretical framework comprising of a decision maker (a doctor), perceived moral intensity of the issue (breastfeeding substitute prescription), and the situational environment (hospital policy, pharma company promotions, and mother’s beliefs regarding breastfeeding) to explain the physician’s role and influence on mothers’ infant feeding choices when prescribing infant formula in Kuwait, Middle East. Moral intensity is an issue-contingent model that suggests ethical decisions vary in terms of how much a moral imperative is present in a situation. The moral intensity of the issue is assessed using six components. Path Least Squares results indicate the following moral intensity components have significant impact on prescription behavior: magnitude of consequences, probability of effect, and temporal immediacy. Company promotion and hospital policy also significantly influence doctor’s prescription of infant formula. Doctors appear to disengage from the consequences of over prescribing infant formula. View Full-Text
Keywords: over prescription; breastfeeding; medical ethics; moral intensity; hospital policy; moral judgment over prescription; breastfeeding; medical ethics; moral intensity; hospital policy; moral judgment
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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).

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Rios, R.; Riquelme, H.; El Beshlawy, S. Prescribing under the Influence: The Business of Breastmilk Substitutes. Soc. Sci. 2016, 5, 53.

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