Presenters or Patients? A Crucial Distinction in Individual Health Assessments

Asian Bioethics Review 10 (1):67-73 (2018)
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Individual health assessments (IHAs) for asymptomatic individuals provide a challenge to traditional distinctions between patient care and non-medical practice. They may involve undue radiation exposure, lead to false positives, and involve high out-of-pocket costs for recipients. A recent paper (Journal of the American College of Radiology 13(12): 1447–1457.e1, 2016) has criticised the use of IHAs and argued that recipients should be classified as ‘presenters’, not ‘patients’, to distinguish it from regular medical care. I critique this classificatory move, on two grounds: one, it is conceptually suspect. Two, it obviates the medical ethics framework for IHAs, potentially exposing recipients of IHAs to lower standards of oversight and protection. Responsible regulation of IHAs will be easier to ethically justify if those seeking IHAs are considered patients and not merely presenters.
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The Gray Zones of Privatized Imaging.Lau, Patricia W. & Illes, Judy

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