Status, Respect, and Stigma: A Qualitative Study of Non-financial Interests in Medicine

Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 17 (2):203-216 (2020)
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Abstract

Conflicts of interest in health and medicine have been the source of considerable public and professional debate. Much of this debate has focused on financial, rather than non-financial COI, which is a significant lacuna because non-financial COI can be just as influential as financial COI. In an effort to explore the nature and effects of non-financial, as well as financial COI, we conducted semi-structured interviews with eleven Australian medical professionals regarding their experiences of, and attitudes towards, COI. We found that this group of medical professionals saw non-financial interests—most notably the pursuit of status and respect and the avoidance of stigma—as potentially conflicting with other important interests.

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