Dr. Kendra Gaines, Editor-in-Chief, IJHC
A couple of years ago, my Significant Other discovered he had a leaky mitral valve in his heart. Without treatment, he could easily die of congestive heart failure. We sought the advice of a physician who offered to enter my 86-year-old SO in a study, saying “You’ll have a 50/50 chance of getting mitral valve clips versus open heart surgery.” I said, “This is not a crap shoot. There will be no open heart surgery”—and out we walked. Later I found that this doctor received up to $8000 for every patient he referred to this study. The motive for his recommendation was all too clear.
I subsequently published an article in the newspaper about the potential loss of trust in the medical profession if money was going to be the prime motivator for medical recommendations. A surprising number of readers sent messages relating similar stories. This potential loss of trust was in my mind when I wrote my last column in which I speculated on the looming influence of AI and Chat GPT on scientific research. Since that column, an enormous amount of material has been published on that topic, both positive and negative—with perhaps a preponderance of negative. As of this writing, it appears that even the creators of this game-changer have had second thoughts and have called for government oversight—although these same creators show no signs of desisting from their ongoing work to “improve” their creation.