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The Ethics Institute Hosts Delbarton Ethics Classes for a Day of Discussion

The Ethics Institute Hosts Delbarton Ethics Classes for a Day of Discussion

Throughout the fall trimester, students participating in the Bioethics Project have been talking with a variety of guest speakers about an array of topics relating to this year’s theme, “Reimagining the Medical- Industrial Complex.” Recent conversations have been about the pharmaceutical industry, such as pricing, drug development and clinical trials, accessibility to prescription medicine, and the biases physicians may have as a result of their relationships with medical companies. Students have grasped the challenges provoked by the pharmaceutical industry as a whole and ways to promote more equity. 

Recently, the Ethics Institute hosted the Delbarton Ethics Classes for a day of discussions on the topic of direct-to-consumer (DTC) pharmaceutical marketing, as well as the need for transparency between medical providers and patients. Professor Jacob Elbert, of Seton Hall University Law School, explained the role economics plays in the patient and medical-provider experience, especially in the area of trust. 

Both KPS and Delbarton students say they were shocked to learn of the Physician Payments Sunshine Act (Sunshine Act), which requires manufacturers of drugs, medical devices, and biologicals that participate in federal healthcare programs to report certain payments and items of value given to physicians and teaching hospitals. Would the trust you have in your doctor be affected if you discovered that she or he was receiving large sums of money from the manufacturers of drugs or medical devices recommended or prescribed for you?

As Bioethics Project students continue to delve into the workings of the medical-industrial complex and develop topic ideas, thought-provoking discussions are crucial to determine the breaches of ethics commonly occurring in medical practice today.  

This article was written by Louisa Gordon ’25.