If Not Money, What Should Control Medicine?

The ethical dilemmas proposed by gift-giving and bias within the field of medicine may culminate in the question of whether medicine should be treated as a business, and if our intuition is to respond no, how it should then be treated. Professional, academic, and governmental institutions are all equally subject to influence from the private sector; look at where the bulk of university funds go, or the influence big corporations (say, in the meat or oil industries) have upon government actions. It seems like this is a problem across the board with having any large group controlling a system which involves immense amounts of profit. We are left to turn perhaps to relying simply upon hopes of individual integrity, yet, as the articles show, it seems as though people are nearly impossible to render objective on a personal level, the effects of which are more far-reaching than we tend to think. It is clear that the treatment of the medical industry as a business renders it extremely vulnerable to corruption, but difficult to find another way of viewing it which is not ultimately prone to similar bias. A drastic reduction in the complexity and convolution of the medical industry, and a return to individuals taking health and education about it into their own hands, may be able to remove much of the money and secondary interests in the medical system which bring these issues upon it, but the current power which groups like pharmaceutical companies have to prevent this from happening make it seem a revolution which is unlikely to occur.

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