Title: Business ethics, medical ethics and economic medicalization

Authors: Geoffrey Poitras

Addresses: Faculty of Business Administration, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, BC, V5A 1S6, Canada

Abstract: This paper explores the ethical implications of economic medicalization: where non-medical problems are transformed into medical problems in order to achieve the objective of shareholder wealth maximization. After considering differences between business ethics and medical ethics, economic medicalization arising from corporate marketing strategies is detailed. Both direct-to-consumer and more traditional physician centred marketing methods are considered. In addition, the economic medicalization of medical research practice and publication is examined and future trends are identified.

Keywords: economic medicalization; direct-to-consumer marketing; muzzle clause; shareholder wealth maximization; SWM; medical ethics; business ethics; corporate marketing; marketing strategies; medical research.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBGE.2009.023789

International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics, 2009 Vol.4 No.4, pp.372 - 389

Published online: 11 Mar 2009 *

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