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Experts in medical ethics say that hospital-company partnerships can work for medical personnel and for patients if physicians and other staff are transparent in disclosing the business relationship, stipulate that a healthy diet could be followed without the product, and ensure that no one in the health system is promoting a product before a diagnosis. If a competitor arises, ethicists said, that would also need to be part of the discussion with patients.

“Transparency has to be meaningful, honest, consistent and understandable,” said Dr. Ruth Faden, founder of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics in Baltimore.

Partnerships like the one offered by Mount Sinai and Epicured can, in general, be beneficial and efficient for a patient, said Arthur L. Caplan, the founding head of the division of medical ethics at NYU School of Medicine in New York City, so long as physicians don’t prey on a vulnerability to promote the product.

“You have to be very careful to give everyone full options,” said Dr. Caplan.

…continue reading ‘Mount Sinai Sees Appetite for Dietitian-Designed Meal Services’

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