Wednesday, April 04, 2007

And the Suck Goes On

I learn from the BBC that Patientline, upon whom I have remarked previously, have not in fact been censured by Ofcom for their unethical business model. For the sake of balance, here is their side [obsolete link, sorry]. The main thrust of their argument seems to be that, having invested millions in a bad idea, it is the duty of hospital patients and their families to pay up regardless.

I have of late been working in the field of Ethics. I have discovered that every modern clinical protocol that is devised must undergo a rigorous ethical review before being tested on a single patient. Two key concepts are that the patient's autonomy must never be compromised and no goal justifies taking unfair advantage of any participant. Patientline's business model fails both these criteria.

Now markets are not fundamentally good or bad: markets are supremely amoral. The question you want to ask yourself is: is there a place for amorality at the hospital bedside?

The sick are not a resource.