Doctors and Nurses Should be Tested for Drugs and Alcohol: Medical Ethicist

Doctors and nurses should undergo random drug testing, argues a leading medical ethicist. “I am sorry to say that addiction and the abuse of drugs are not really a part of the discussion about making medicine safer,” says Arthur L. Caplan, PhD.

“The medical profession has an ethical duty to do a better job of monitoring drug abuse,” says Dr. Caplan, the Founding Director of the Division of Medical Ethics in NYU Langone Medical Center’s Department of Population Health. “Why is it OK to test airplane pilots, train conductors and truck drivers, and not doctors and nurses, who also have a lot of lives in their hands?” He added, “You have to assume some medical errors are due to drug or alcohol abuse.”

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Will Savage

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