Pathologists face interesting, important, and underexplored ethical complexities. This issue of the AMA Journal of Ethics considers a few of these neglected issues and questions, including shifts in social and cultural attitudes toward autopsy, cautions about the use of social media for sharing images, and what the death of Prince tells us about the public and professional obligations of physicians who interact with the media.
Cytopathologists frequently interact directly with patients at their bedsides to perform fine needle aspiration procedures. When, if ever, should cytopathologists share preliminary diagnostic impressions directly with patients?
AMA J Ethics. 2016;18(8):779-785. doi:
If health information is private, why do we know so much about Prince’s death? Critical legal and ethical questions remain unsettled about whether and when it is appropriate for medical examiners or coroners to release information from autopsy reports to the public.
AMA J Ethics. 2016;18(8):839-842. doi:
Visual literacy modules can help trainees learn to integrate narrative and visual information in clinical encounters. The medical humanities curriculum at Australia’s Bond University uses art to build students’ diagnostic skills.
AMA J Ethics. 2016;18(8):843-854. doi: