Sunday, January 08, 2006

An Interesting Piece on Prophylactic Mastectomy

Sue of the Women's Bioethics Blog has an interesting post on prophylactic mastectomy, inspired by this article in the New York Times. She examines the topic of whether women with genetic risk factors for breast cancer could be required to have this procedure, or risk having insurance plans refuse to pay for care if the patient develops cancer or even drop the person's coverage preemptively. Says Sue:
As we move more and more toward a "personal responsibility" view of healthcare in the United States, we need to remain cognizant of the bigger picture. Today, the view that people are responsible for the unhealthy choices they make (smoking, drinking, using drugs, etc.) and should bear the burdens of their decisions is becoming more and more popular. It may turn out that when we began to think about this issue in terms of "health problems you choose for yourself," we may unwittingly have opened the door to such ideas as mandatory (if you want to stay insured) mastectomy.
Check out the rest of the post - it's an intriguing take on a women's health rights issue that I don't know to have arisen, but the possibilities are worth noting.
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MeSH Tags: Bioethics; Genes, BRCA1 OR Genes, BRCA2; Insurance, Health/ethics

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