conflict of interest


conflict of interest
(in medical ethics) the situation in which a health professional is subject to pressures that conflict with his or her obligation to promote the best interests of the patient. Such conflicts can threaten a doctor's integrity and professional standing. For example, a drug company may encourage a doctor to prescribe a particular medicine, which may not be the treatment of choice for a patient. In medical research, there is always a potential conflict between protecting the individual and benefiting society. Particular problems of this kind occur in randomized controlled trials (see equipoise, intervention study). Doctors will always experience competing pressures and it is important for them to be able to resolve, or mitigate, morally problematic conflicts.

The new mediacal dictionary. 2014.

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