Costs and Ethics: Dr. Kaldjian

Today Dr. Kaldjian, Director of the Program in Bioethics and Humanities at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine and professor in the Department of Internal Medicine visited UTSW today.

After joining us at Morning Report today with resident Dr. Bryan Wilner presenting a very difficult and interesting ethical case.

Dr. Kaldjian then went on to give the Ethics Lecture during UTSW’s Update in Internal Medicine (lead by Dr. Weissler) entited “Ethics, Goals, and Role when Discussing Healthcare Costs with Patients.”

He spoke about the tension between patient-centered concerns and society-centered concerns. We were encouraged to think about which concern promotes the good of person vs. promotes justice.

Promoting the Good of Persons:

  • beneficence (one patient at a time)
  • utility (maximizing beneficience)

Promoting Justice

  • commutative: giving to each what they are due as a person (in healthcare: to each according to their need)
  • distributive: justice as fairness (similar treatment for similar cases)

Dr. Kaldjian also reminded the audience that as patient advocates, he encourages us to think about “intention.”

Some additional notes and references used in his talk. Enjoy!

Choosing your words wisely: stewardship vs. rationing


“Hospital-acquired bankrupcy” and a recent survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation: in order to pay the bills, what do patients?