Defensive medicine or economically motivated corruption? A confucian reflection on physician care in china today

Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 32 (6):635 – 648 (2007)
In contemporary China, physicians tend to require more diagnostic work-ups and prescribe more expensive medications than are clearly medically indicated. These practices have been interpreted as defensive medicine in response to a rising threat of potential medical malpractice lawsuits. After outlining recent changes in Chinese malpractice law, this essay contends that the overuse of expensive diagnostic and therapeutic interventions cannot be attributed to malpractice concerns alone. These practice patterns are due as well, if not primarily, to the corruption of medical decision-making by physicians being motivated to earn supplementary income, given the constraints of an ill-structured governmental policy by the over-use of expensive diagnostic and therapeutic interventions. To respond to these difficulties of Chinese health care policy, China will need not only to reform the particular policies that encourage these behaviors, but also to nurture a moral understanding that can place the pursuit of profit within the pursuit of virtue. This can be done by drawing on Confucian moral resources that integrate the pursuit of profit within an appreciation of benevolence. It is this Confucian moral account that can formulate a medical care policy suitable to China's contemporary market economy.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/03605310701681021
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,674
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Ruiping Fan & Benfu Li (2004). Truth Telling in Medicine: The Confucian View. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 29 (2):179 – 193.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

19 ( #242,591 of 1,903,044 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #264,928 of 1,903,044 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.