Illustrative image for OK, Boomer, MD: The Rights of Aging Physicians and the Health of Our Communities

Hastings Center Report

OK, Boomer, MD: The Rights of Aging Physicians and the Health of Our Communities

Abstract: How do we balance the rights of aging physicians against the right of the public to competent health care? This version of a classic public health ethics dilemma is here now and likely to increase as the population ages. Peer review has long been the standard mechanism for assessing physician competence, but it is subjective and too easily subverted. New options are needed, both in medicine and throughout the professions, but they are challenging to implement. Physicians have an ethical obligation to protect the health of the public by acknowledging, assessing, and addressing the cognitive effects of aging on medical competence.

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