Revised ACP ethics manual urges focus on care that is cost-effective

February 25, 2012

Physicians should base their advice on what's best for the patient but also consider the cost of treatment, according to the latest edition of the American College of Physicians Ethics Manual.

Physicians should base their advice on what's best for the patient but also consider the cost of treatment, according to the latest edition of the American College of Physicians Ethics Manual.

The revised manual notes that "physicians have a responsibility to practice effective and efficient healthcare and to use healthcare resources wisely," adding that "physicians' considered judgments should reflect the best available evidence in the biomedical literature, including data on the cost-effectiveness of different clinical approaches."

In an accompanying editorial, Ezekiel Emanuel, MD, PhD, chairman of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine, writes that "these positions...constitute an important shift, if not in ethics then in emphasis."