2014 Annual Conference:
Behavioral Economics, Law, and Health Policy

Saturday, May 03, 2014
Wasserstein Hall, Milstein East ABC
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

We've increased our registration limit! Register here. Conference DescriptionRichard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein's book Nudge: Improving Decisions About…

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Free Drug Samples Prompt Skin Doctors To Prescribe Costlier Meds

NPR, April 16, 2014
by Michaeleen Doucleff

Every "free" sample comes with a price. Dermatologists who accept free tubes and bottles of brand-name drugs are likelier to prescribe expensive medications for acne than doctors who are prohibited…

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Doctors Overlook Lucrative Procedures When Naming Unwise Treatments

Kaiser Health News, April 14, 2014
by Jordan Rau

When America’s joint surgeons were challenged to come up with a list of unnecessary procedures in their field, their selections shared one thing: none significantly impacted their incomes. The American Academy…

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Refusals Cut Options After C-Sections

New York Times, April 14, 2014
by Dan Frosch

CASPER, Wyo. — When Marie Scott, a child-care worker turned stay-at-home mother, found out she was pregnant again last year, she knew she wanted a traditional birth. The cesarean section she’d had…

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Why Most Brazilian Women Get C-Sections

The Atlantic, April 14, 2014
by Olga Khazan

RECIFE, Brazil — When Ivana Borges learned she was pregnant, she told her obstetrician that she wanted a natural birth. Her mother had delivered five children without surgery or medication,…

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Doctors Shun Insurance, Offering Care for Cash

New York Times, April 10, 2014
by Alexa Ura

LAREDO, Tex. — For 12 hours a day, the waiting room at Dr. Gustavo Villarreal’s family practice is packed with patients who pay a flat $50 fee for the convenience…

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Burnt Out Primary Care Docs Are Voting With Their Feet

Kaiser Health News, April 1, 2014
by Roni Caryn Rabin

[...] Physician stress has always been a fact of life.  But anecdotal reports and studies suggest a significant increase in the level of discontent-especially among primary care doctors who serve…

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An Empirical Method for Materiality:

American Journal of Law and Medicine, Forthcoming, 2014
by Roy G. Spece Jr., David V. Yokum, Andrea-Gale Okoro, and Christopher T. Robertson (Petrie-Flom Affiliated Faculty; Former Petrie-Flom Academic Fellow)

Abstract: The law has long been concerned with the agency problems that arise when advisors, such as attorneys or physicians, put themselves in financial relationships that create conflicts of interest. If…

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As Full Disclosure Nears, Doctors’ Pay for Drug Talks Plummets

Pro Publica, March 3, 2014
by Charles Ornstein, Eric Sagara, and Ryann Grochowski Jones

Some of the nation’s largest pharmaceutical companies have slashed payments to health professionals for promotional speeches amid heightened public scrutiny of such spending, a new ProPublica analysis shows. Eli Lilly…

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New rule allows patients to get test results directly from labs, without doctors’ clearance

Washington Post, February 3, 2014
by Sandra Somashekar

Patients may obtain their test results directly from the laboratory that produced them, without having to go through their doctors, under regulations announced Monday by the Obama administration. The rule is…

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Silencing Many Hospital Alarms Leads To Better Health Care

NPR, January 27, 2014
by Richard Knox

Go into almost any hospital these days and you'll hear a constant stream of beeps and boops. To most people it sounds like medical Muzak. But to doctors and nurses,…

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‘Aid in Dying’ Ruled OK in New Mexico:

Time, January 13, 2014
by Maya Rhodan

A New Mexico district judge ruled on Monday that terminally ill patients who are mentally competent have a constitutional right to seek a physician’s assistance in ending their own lives. The decision…

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West Hartford Parents Back In Court In Custody Dispute With MA Authorities

The Hartford Courant, January 10, 2014
by William Weir

A custody dispute between Massachusetts and a West Hartfordfamily whose daughter is being held at Boston Children's Hospital returned to court Friday. Justina Pelletier, 15, has been at Boston Children's Hospital since February,…

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GlaxoSmithKline to Stop Paying Doctors for Endorsements

The Atlantic, December 17, 2013
by James Hamblin

Many doctors learn about new medications—and new uses for old medications—by listening to formal presentations from expert peers. Pharmaceutical companies pay those peers to give speeches about their products at medical conferences.…

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Solving the Shortage in Primary Care Doctors

New York Times, December 14, 2013
by Catherine Rampell

Again and again, we hear that the country has too few doctors, particularly for primary care. And Obamacare is supposed to make the shortage much worse in the coming years…

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Catholic hospitals are growing. What will that mean for reproductive health?

Washington Post, December 2, 2013
by Sarah Kliff

Tamesha Means was 18 weeks pregnant when her water broke. Means, then 27 and the mother of two, knew something was wrong. So she called a friend to take her…

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Justices Take Companies’ Cases Challenging Contraception Rule

The New York Times, November 26, 2013
by Adam Liptak

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear a pair of cases on whether corporations may refuse to provide insurance coverage for contraception to their workers based on…

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Addiction Treatment With a Dark Side

New York Times, November 16, 2013
by Deborah Sontag

[...] Suboxone is the blockbuster drug most people have never heard of. Surpassing well-known medications like Viagra and Adderall, it generated $1.55 billion in United States sales last year, its success fueled…

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‘Big, striking horror:’

NBC News, November 4, 2013
by Bill Briggs

U.S. military doctors designed, enabled and engaged in the torture of suspected terrorists held at American detention centers during the past decade, violating globally recognized ethics and medical principles that…

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Doctors Fear Losing Leukemia Drug Deemed Risky

New York Times, November 1, 2013
by Denise Grady and Andrew Pollack

People with fatal diseases may be willing to try risky treatments that have a chance of saving their lives. But when is the risk too high? That question was at…

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Patients Mired in Costly Credit From Doctors

New York Times, October 13, 2013
by Jessica Silver-Greenberg

The dentist set to work, tapping and probing, then put down his tools and delivered the news. His patient, Patricia Gannon, needed a partial denture. The cost: more than $5,700.…

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Medical Marijuana Web Services Raising Concerns

The Boston Globe, September 30, 2013
by Kay Lazar

Massachusetts’ nascent medical marijuana law has sparked a recent flurry of new Internet companies promising to match patients with doctors who will certify they need the weed for health reasons,…

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HLS Event Opens Dialogue on Role of Race in Healthcare

The Harvard Crimson, Sept. 18, 2013
by Andrew Ma

Harvard Crimson coverage of the Petrie-Flom Center's September 17, 2013, panel discussion, "Patient Discrimination against Medical Personnel," featuring Kimani Paul-Emile of Fordham Law School discussing her article in the UCLA Law Review, "Patients' Racial…

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The Patient-Physician Relationship

American Medical Association

This is a report by the American Medical Association’s Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs addressing ethical obligations of physicians and conflicts of interest.

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Conflicts in Conscience in Health Care: An Institutional Compromise

MIT Press
by Holly Fernandez Lynch

This book analyzes the issues surrounding conscience clauses in the health care setting and proposes a solution that calls on the medical profession as a whole to ensure patient access,…

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Legal Briefing: Conscience Clauses and Conscientious Refusal

Journal of Clinical Ethics
by Thaddeus Mason Pope

This article gives an overview of legal developments pertaining to conscientious objection in healthcare.

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Conscience Clauses, Health Care Providers, and Parents

The Hastings Center
by Nancy Berlinger

This chapter outlines some key issues that arise when health care providers and parents lodge conscientious objections to certain types of medical care.

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Conscientious Objection in Medicine

by Julian Savelescu

This article outlines several arguments for and against permitting conscientious objection by medical professionals.

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Religion, Conscience, and Controversial Clinical Practices

by Farr A. Curlin et al.

This article summarizes a study of physicians’ views on conscientious objection in the United States. 

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Women’s Preventive Services Coverage and Non-Profit Religious Organizations

The Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight

This website provides information about contraceptives coverage under the Affordable Care Act, as well as accommodations for religious employers and non-profit religious organizations.  It also links to applicable regulations governing…

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Legal Issues in Health Care: The Physician-Patient Relationship

University of Tennessee Health Science Center

A basic primer on the doctor-patient relationship, including creation, duties, and termination.

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Patient Discrimination against Medical Personnel

Tuesday, September 17, 2013 12:00 PM
Lectures and Panels
Wasserstein Hall 3019, Harvard Law School
1585 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge MA
Watch Event Recordings

We don't stand for doctors discriminating against patients on the basis of race, but what about when the tables are…

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Legal Issues for Physicians

The American Medical Association

This section of the American Medical Association website addresses some basic legal issues that often arise in the doctor-patient relationship.

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When Is a Patient-Physician Relationship Established?

AMA Virtual Mentor
by Valerie Blake

A list of key cases that have helped define the physician-patient relationship generally, as well as some key exceptions to the general rule.

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Public Health Law Map: The Physician-Patient Relationship

LSU Law Center

This site includes information about physician duties to their patients and how those duties can be incurred and discharged.

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Legal Issues in Health Care: The Physician-Patient Relationship

University of Tennessee Health Science Center

A basic primer on the doctor-patient relationship, including creation, duties, and termination.

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Four Models of the Physician-Patient Relationship

by Ezekiel J. Emanuel & Linda L. Emanuel

This article outlines four models to conceptualize the basic relationship between physician and patient.

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Patients and Doctors: The Evolution of a Relationship

New England Journal of Medicine
by Robert Truog

This article outlines issues in the evolving doctor-patient relationship with respect to clinical care, clinical research, and populations and health care systems.

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Conflicts of Conscience in Health Care

Friday, February 27, 2009
Lectures and Panels
Watch Event Recordings

On the occasion of publication of a new book on physician conscience clauses written by Holly Fernandez Lynch, this panel examined…

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