U of S One Health Club

The Ethics of Medical Radicals


At this evenings ethics event, Dr. Meili presented a thought provoking case about a physician who worked the system to benefit patients. In this case, the physician prescribed special diets to patients on social assistance to enable them to get a ‘special diet allowance’ to supplement their income. While the patients benefited from an increase in their income level, the physician was also benefiting by billing for this service.

While the ethics of this practice is debatable, it is a fact that there is a correlation between poverty and poor health. This correlation is illustrated well in Gary Bloch’s TED talks appearance: If you want to help me, prescribe me money. Feel free to check out the video and we would love to hear any thoughts you have on either the case study presented by Dr. Meili, or the broader topic of poverty and health. Visit Poverty Costs to learn more about the latest upstream initiative in Saskatchewan.


2 thoughts on “The Ethics of Medical Radicals

  1. I really enjoyed this topic! The social determinants of health are such a huge issue – especially in countries like Canada where there is such disparity between the poor and rich. I think it is health care providers’ responsibility to be advocates for their patients, but I don’t think they should feel like they need to bend the system in order for their patients to receive the quality of life everyone deserves. It’s up to the government to take action and put programs in place to better the lives of everyone and in the long-run SAVE money!


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