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Mark Greenhalgh

Interesting thoughts. Just a response to your phrase 'active profiteering'. Glancing at my dictionary, profiteering is the 'excessive or unreasonable profit' made on particularly 'scarce or rare' goods. The implication is that this business activity has something of the immoral or unpleasant about it, because of the association with physicians and health care, or perhaps because the business is run by a doctor. There's nothing about being a physician and being in legitimate business or being entrepreneurial that is wrong. The sense of disapproval in the phrase 'active profiteering' harks back to the same attitudes which have led physicians to be taken for granted, underpaid and overworked in the name of their professional vocation. In the UK, as doctors, we cannot even advertise our services freely. Physicians have a vocational ethic, but being disapproving of entrepreneurial activity seems to be unnecessarily restrictive in the 21st century.

Don't mean that to sound too strong. Regards, Mark.


Well Mark I am simply not a fan of physicians using case studies to make additional revenue. I may be off here but my understanding is that physicians who have unique cases often will write reports or journal articles about their findings. I am not sure if they get paid or not for those entries. The way I see things is if a physician wrote a book and used me as a case study - without my permission - I would not be happy. I would never expect or ask for financial award to be used in the study but at least ask my permission.

Mark Greenhalgh

I do understand what you mean. I guess each physician has a responsibility to act ethically, to a high moral standard and of course legally. Although we might not be used to certain activities being usual for a doctor - being in business and perhaps selling information for example, that doesn't mean they can't be carried out responsibly. I agree with you about your comment on a physician not using your personal case data for profit without even asking permission. Its kind of a gray area.
Regards. Mark


I see your point in the sense that other businesses thrive and prosper on the ale and use of personal information. I also know that here in the States we have the Health Information Protection Act that prevents use of personal data, however aggregate data is still permissible. I do know that my wife's ankle operation was used in a case presentation at a conference without her permission, but it was not for profit- it was for education. I think there is a fine line here between case studies for profit and case studies to advance the field.

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