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Essay

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The Problem with Academic Medicine: Engineering Our Way into and out of the Mess

  • Jonathan Rees
  • Published: April 26, 2005
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0020111

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Stop a while and sort it out

Posted by plosmedicine on 30 Mar 2009 at 23:42 GMT

Author: susanne mccabe
E-mail: soostevens@hotmail.com
Submitted Date: April 26, 2005
Published Date: April 26, 2005
This comment was originally posted as a “Reader Response” on the publication date indicated above. All Reader Responses are now available as comments.

The lack of consensus about how medicine should be provided leaves citizens not knowing how the idealogical views of one practitioner or groups of medics in one area versus another might effect them. One may have a great respect for the partnership approach but another overtly or covertly undermines autonomy regarding themselves as 'the expert' rather than 'the partner'in healthcare.In the UK there is not even a booklet available to citizens to inform them of how the health services are run, what their rights are from a service they pay for.The weak and the vulnerable become the objects of research rather than the drivers and decision making partners. In the academic field there are those who hold the belief that they should be left to get on without being hindered by the messy views of the public or the judgement of such as Ethics Committees. Applications to the Patient Advisory Group for use of data without consent come from researchers. This despite a long history of researchers using the public in instrumental often harmful ways. In Wales (one of the semi-autonomous nations of UK) massive funding goes into research at the 'prestigious' University Hospital of Wales.There has been no agreement from taxpayers. Wales has one of the poorest records of basic good health in Europe. One in ten people are on waiting lists for often quite simple treatments.(BBC News). Medicine has become inhumane in this respect. Equality is mere rhetoric, scandals of untreated suffering are treated with P.R. whilst healthworkers are leaving in droves because of the stress of being unable to fulfill their ambition to relieve suffering. Obviously any society needs to develop research but it is not addressing even the basic needs of the poorest in our world. Would the world come to an end if research was put on hold?

No competing interests declared.