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date: 26 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Physicians confront situations in which there is a risk that their professional judgment or actions concerning the treatment of their patients will be unduly influenced by self-serving financial interests. These situations predominantly derive from physicians’ relationships with industry and their payment method. The chapter begins with the definition of conflicts of interest in clinical practice accompanied by an explanation of the difference between conflicts of interest and other moral dilemmas that physicians encounter in their clinical practice. The different approaches toward the conflicts of interest problem are presented, including the underlying philosophical–ideological aspects that relate to opposing views concerning medical professionalism. A discussion pertaining to the merits and disadvantages of the four main types of solutions to the conflicts of interest problem follows. Finally, I outline suggestions for several future directions that could deepen our understanding concerning the conflicts of interest problem and in turn lead to new practical solutions.

Keywords: conflicts of interest, clinical practice, professionalism, moral dilemmas industry

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