Ethical Issues in Endocrinology

This month's issue focuses on endocrinology, a medical subspecialty that frequently manages chronic illnesses and whose expertise resides in controlling that which often seems to control us—our hormones. Ethical questions in endocrinology range from the theoretical (whether or not obesity is a “disease”) to the practical (a patient’s nonadherence to a diabetes management plan). As this month's authors lead us to discover, these questions and concerns should not be categorized so simply. The "diseasification" of obesity has substantial practical implications for Medicare, insurance, and prescription drug coverage decisions. On the flip side, there remains a significant theoretical semantic divide between patient "compliance" and patient "adherence," the implications thereof delineating the obligations of the physician in the patient-physician relationship.

Volume 7, Number 11: 719-769 Full Issue PDF