Monthly Webinar: Physician Responsibilities Within the Context of Vaccination Controversies - Southern Medical Association

October 11, 2021

Monthly Webinar: Physician Responsibilities Within the Context of Vaccination Controversies

Presented by: Richard Holt, MD, MSE, MPH, MABE, D Bioethics

As if the difficulties caring for patients during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic were not sufficiently challenging for physicians, we now find ourselves in the uncomfortable position of advocating for the preventive health of our patients in the context of a politicized public health response—vaccination.  Previously, vaccination discussions with patients were relatively uncomplicated, involving explaining the science of vaccination for influenza, major communicable childhood diseases, or preventing infections such as HPV and varicella zoster.  Currently, physicians are challenged in discussions with patients regarding COVID-19 vaccination due to the polarization of opinions—often very strong opinions—and the responsibility to explain the science of the vaccinations in a climate of misinformation and conflicting “expert” opinions. The primary ethical responsibility for physicians is to the best health and welfare of our patients.  This webinar will address these challenges and possible responses to preventing adverse effects on the patient-physician relationship.

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G. Richard Holt, MD, MSE, MPH, MABE, DBioethics, is professor emeritus and clinical professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. His areas of clinical practice and research include tissue reconstruction, upper respiratory diseases, trauma and disaster management, and bioengineering. He holds advanced degrees in public health, engineering, health policy, and bioethics.