Cleveland Clinic ≠ Ethics

Cleveland Clinic ≠ Ethics

I was always amused by Dr. Weil's product line. Among the products he has branded is a rice cooker that is

Equipped with Fuzzy Logic

I assume that the writer was unaware that probably describes the entire Weil empire. But this sort of branding is sleezy.

Years ago the AMA went into business with Sunbeam to endorse their products. The plan was to put the AMA seal of approval on

nine home-care categories, including blood-pressure monitors, heating pads and vaporizers.

That was in the late 1990's when there was actually some ethical standards.

A.M.A. faced an outcry over conflict of interest and commercialism from consumer advocates, editorial writers, some of the group's 300,000 members and even some of its board members.

As the NEJM noted at the time, the

A.M.A. faced an outcry over conflict of interest and commercialism from consumer advocates, editorial writers, some of the group's 300,000 members and even some of its board members. Financial incentives are dangerous. We have learned painfully that physicians respond to them.

and went on to say that all medical organizations

would do well to review the financial benefits of these associations against the potential blemishes to their reputations as keepers of the highest principles.

Most physicians have not abandoned the moral high ground. They live by the principles of their oath and continue to act as healers, not as hawkers of consumer products. We suspect that many physicians do not know about the commercial arrangements of their professional organizations, and we urge them to look into the matter.

Fast forward to 2016.

Cleveland Clinic wants to bring its brand to fitness, furniture and more.

The Cleveland Clinic Brand on chocolate, bread, milk, exercise gear and other products.

Now executives want to bring its brand to sporting goods stores, restaurant menus, and maybe even furniture retailers.

To make money of course.

If successful, the brand could also provide a significant stream of revenue for the Clinic.

The AMA abandoned their Sunbeam contract at a cost of 10 million dollars. I doubt the Cleveland Clinic will do the same. They have a site selling vitamins and supplements despite the fact supplement and vitamins have no benefit and are unethical

the conflict of interest inherent in recommending drugs or supplements and then selling them to the patient for a profit is too blatant to be acceptable."

and other products?

Promoting and selling medical or non‐medical products to patients for a profit is not only unethical, it constitutes a direct conflict of interest.

For the Cleveland Clinic it is "pioneering" and "very bold". 

Times and ethics change. Now Gordon Gekko runs the Cleveland Clinic in spirit.

I wonder if the NEJM will comment on this as well. Bet not. Now Shruggies rule.

Points of Interest 01/28/2015
Points of Interest 01/26/2016

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