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What You Should Know About Medicine and Bribery

Background Medicine And Bribery

Bribery in the Government is a criminal offense, but corporate bribery in the world of medicine is indicative of white collar crime. There are some who believe that this should not be the case, that the rules for both governmental bribery and bribery in the medical world should be identical, as medical professionals have just as much responsibility to the public as do governmental officials. But the Government does not have the same criminal regulations in place to deal with the problem of bribery in medicine, which happens more often than one would like to believe.

Bribery in the medical world of America is most often corporate bribery. That is, pharmaceutical companies bribing doctors is the primary form of bribery in the American medical sphere. Such bribery does sometimes extend into the governmental sphere as well, for those positions and duties that have some overlap. For instance, Food and Drug Administration officials have both a medical and governmental duty and are bribed in a fashion similar to doctors by pharmaceutical companies seeking to promote their drugs.

When FDA officials are bribed, however, it is not the same as doctors being bribed, at least under the law. When doctors are bribed in America, it is most often either a form of white collar crime or an ethical breach to be dealt with by the American Medical Association. When someone working at the FDA is bribed, it is a criminal offense, as FDA officials are Government employees.

Bribery of doctors plague the world, however, as corporate bribery of the previously described sort occurs so much more blatantly in developing nations. Doctors there are often bribed by pharmaceutical companies with cars, houses, and utterly exorbitant bribes which could not possibly go unnoticed in more developed nations. But because the rules and restrictions on such things in developing nations are often so lax, pharmaceutical companies are able to get away with such corporate bribery and are able to reap the rewards as doctors begin to prescribe those companies' drugs so much more often, even when unnecessary.

While this might still be considered a type of white collar crime, the borderline becomes increasingly blurred when one thinks about the harm that could be caused by doctors' acceptance of such bribes. Medicines which are dangerous could be passing through regulations designed to keep them in check with illegal ease.

Doctors could be prescribing medicines which either will not help patients, or which are completely unnecessary. Untold harm could be wrought upon patients by doctors who abuse their power in this fashion, and from such a light, it is hard to believe that white collar crime is still the correct term to apply to the doctors' actions, as the common associations of white collar crime are significantly more concerned with the illegal exchange of money and less concerned with causing major harm to the health of countless innocents.

In the end, doctors have as much, or more, power as do those who sell guns. If a gun seller were to accept a bribe in order to sell a gun to a terrorist, such would be a major offense. Corporate bribery in the world of medicine takes a similar enough form that similar rules should apply. Yet, such bribery riddles the entire world, as it is often considered simply part of the system. The medical world will never truly be able to fulfill its purpose perfectly until such bribery is eliminated.

NEXT: What is Criminal Trespassing?

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