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ETH-007: Ethics of Clinical Management Guidelines

Ethics of Clinical Management Guidelines: Clinical management guidelines (CMG) are clinical guidelines created to aid the physician in the diagnosis and treatment of patients’ health conditions. The Wisconsin Medical Society believes that CMGs should be based on clinical research that includes but is not limited to clinical trials and medical outcomes. Development of CMGs should be a cooperative effort of physicians (as represented by the AMA, state and local medical associations and appropriate specialty groups) as well as third party payers and concerned government agencies. A formal entity/organization should take responsibility for developing, comparing and evaluating CMGs. Information gathered by the group should be readily accessible to practitioners and to the public and input should be encouraged. With respect to professional liability, the use of CMGs must be carefully tested and monitored by physicians for both hazards and benefits. CMGs should:

  • Be in the best interest of the patient.
  • Reflect the unique character of the providers and the patients they serve.
  • Reflect physician’s autonomy and their right to depart or deviate from CMGs with the stipulation that physician’s document supporting reasons behind their treatment choices.
  • Not be static, but instead reflect real medical practice over time and include improvement based on scientific clinical research.
  • Reflect societal concerns and the need for appropriate allocation of resources.
  • Not be used against physicians who document scientific reasons for departing from the guidelines. (HOD, 0411)*

*Currently under five-year policy review.