Regarding "Be prepared to sacrifice, official tells AMA":
Ezekiel Emanuels comments to physicians attending the American Medical Associations 2009 Seventh Annual National Advocacy Conference are intriguing, politically motivated, and, therefore, problematic given his position.
Ezekiel Emanuel, M.D., Ph.D., is head of the Department of Bioethics at the Clinical Center of the National Institutes of Health. According to the NIH Web site, Emanuel is on extended detail as a special adviser for health policy to the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget. Christine Grady, R.N., Ph.D., is now listed as the deputy and acting chief of the NIH Department of Bioethics.
No mention is made of the fact that Ezekiel Emanuel is Rahm Emanuels older brother. Rahm Emanuel is, of course, the current White House chief of staff.
Ezekiel Emanuel obviously has a conflict of interest. In my opinion, it is inappropriate for Emanuel to intermingle politics, ethics, science and public policy while holding a position with the NIH, even if he is currently on leave.
Ethics has become a quagmire that is as pure as yellow snow. As the Bush administration demonstrated, the lines separating religion, ethics, science and public policy have become increasingly suspect. Unfortunately, many questionable agendas are promoted in the name of ethics which, more often than not, is based on politics, religion or some dubious cause.
The solution is clear. The time has come for ethicists to declare their unacknowledged conflicts of interest in the same manner researchers are required to identify any conflicts in relationship to their research. Consequently, while his cause may be worthy, Emanuel should declare his current conflict, resign his position with the NIH, and pursue his political career.
Roger W. Evans, Ph.D.Chief executive officerTransplantProfessionals.comRochester, Minn.