LCHM Summer 2018 - 14

FEATURE

ESCHEW
SELF
PRESCRIPTION
Foundation of the Pennsylvania Medical Society Physicians'
Health Program Medical Director Shares Ethics Guidance
BY RAYMOND TRUEX JR., MD, FAANS, FACS

U

p front, I have to be honest that I
looked up that word. Eschew. It's
a synonym for "avoid" or "steer
clear of."  I like the way it sounds.
But its meaning is clear and unambiguous. 
Several times a week, when I review in
depth the terms of an advocacy agreement
with a new PHP participant, I will advise
them to eschew prescribing all drugs for
themselves and for their family. This is
one of the things participants must agree
to and sign. Intuitively, I understand why
physicians who may be addicted to mood-altering drugs should avoid self-prescribing,
because they hold the key to the candy
store. And as a surgeon, I understand the
admonition against operating on a member
of my immediate family; would I have the
emotional self-control to successfully deal
with a life-threatening complication, such
as a major hemorrhage, if the person laying
on the operating room table before me was
my wife or my child? The need to avoid that
scenario is easily understood.

14 Lehigh County Health & Medicine | SUMMER 2018



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of LCHM Summer 2018

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