Bioethics Discussion Blog: Ad Tagline:"Blurring the Line Between Medicine and Miracles"

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Monday, November 22, 2004

Ad Tagline:"Blurring the Line Between Medicine and Miracles"

I know of a current advertising campaign to the public for a multi-specialty professional medical group to emphasize the uniqueness of the group from other groups. The tagline for the advertisements is: “Blurring the line between medicine and miracles”

Here is my opinion about the use of such a tagline. Though this may be thought as a "goodheaded" slogan from an advertising point of view, I find this tagline as misleading and ethically wrong. It simply adds irrational support to the confused idea that there really may be a relationship between medical practice and what many
define as "miracles". It sets up a concept about medical care which could in the
end lead to degrading attempts at patient beneficence, non-malificence and
justice for patients in general. Many of the conflicts brought to the ethics
committee have to do with confusion in the mind of patients and family about the
limits of medicine. Often, families want more diagnostic tests, treatment
and continued life-support in search of the "miracle".

Miracles to me are very rare medically unexpected and scientifically unclear
good-fortune. Doctors are not "miracle-workers". Hope is important as
presented to the patient and family but at some point physicians must be realistic
in their presentation as to what they can accomplish. Though it is likely that the physicians of the multi-specialty clinic deserve recognition of excellence, nevertheless the line between medicine
and miracles should be kept bright and clear and blurring should be avoided.

Do you think that miracles should not be looked upon as a medical result but due to something else, perhaps of spiritual origin? ..Maurice.

2 Comments:

At Tuesday, December 07, 2004 10:58:00 PM, Blogger bronwyn said...

Call me a cynic, but my first instinct on hearing/seeing that ad would be to run like hell... And I would fear for the more gullible individuals that would take such a statement at face value.

I think you are right on- The line between medicine and miracle should be crystal.

 
At Wednesday, December 08, 2004 1:56:00 PM, Blogger Maurice Bernstein, M.D. said...

Thanks for your comment. You know.. based on my experience as a practicing physician, most patients who are very ill tend to be gullible. That is why it is so important to speak clearly to that patient and make sure they really understand what the doctor is saying. ..Maurice.

 

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