‘Dr. Oz isn’t a charlatan, he just plays one on TV’

Dr. Oz, the cardio-thoracic surgeon who has trademarked his moniker “America’s Doctor” is under fire for promoting quackery.

Dr. Oz is a medical doctor and doctors have ethical obligations. In my judgment, the most pressing question about Dr. Oz is whether he has violated those obligations.

By all accounts, Dr. Oz is an outstanding clinician. Moreover, no one has ever accused him of offering his own patients “quack treatments and cures in the interest of personal financial gain.” That would be a clear violation of his ethical obligations. But he has incontrovertibly offered quack treatments on his TV show, almost certainly in the interest of personal gain.

He’s like any doctor who prescribes a medication or treatment based on how it profits him, not on what is best for the patient. We recognize that it is unethical for doctors to take kickbacks from pharmaceutical companies for prescribing their medications. It is equally unethical for Dr. Oz to profit from promoting quackery. If he’s not offering the same medical advice to his patients as he’s offering to his TV audience, he’s violating the primary tenets of medical ethics: beneficence (benefiting the patient) and non-maleficence (not harming the patient).

Dr. Oz isn’t a charlatan; he just plays one on TV.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Dr. Oz, ethics and “med-utainment”

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