202641 Turning the Tides of Behavior: Do the Ends Justify the Means?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ryan F. Holmes, MA , Section of Cancer Bioethics, Clinical Ethics Service, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
Colleen Gallagher, PhD, FACHE , Section of Cancer Bioethics, Clinical Ethics Service, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
Cancer prevention has begun to go the way of pay-for-performance programs. Notably, we have seen the success of Kevin Volpp's group in creating a monetary incentive plan for smoking cessation that proved more effective than many others of its kind. As was noted of his research, the program created some direct incentives for individuals to quit smoking, rather than longer term, less quantifiable results. While there is still some debate about whether such ‘pay-for-performance' programs are indeed effective, such programs beg another question: Have we become forced to bribe each other in order to act in our own best interests? As we pursue other public health concerns, such as cancer prevention, obesity, reducing carbon emissions and ensuring clean water, it is necessary to take stock of how we turn the tides of behavior such that we can ensure good public health in an ethically supportable fashion.

Learning Objectives:
Participants will be able to identify the ethical implications of a pay-for-performance system. Participants will be able to formulate an ethical argument involving pay-for-performance activities.

Keywords: Ethics, Behavior Modification

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a master's degree in Bioethics and am currently the Ethics Fellow at UT MD Anderson. In this role I have encoutered ethical issues in the clinical as well as the research setting that have caused me to think about public health measures, both as it relates to patients and as it relates to society as a whole. As an outdoor enthusiast and a Leave No Trace Master Trainer, I have experienced the challenges of attempting to change behavior towards water and the utilization of resources.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

See more of: Ethics SPIG Round Table
See more of: Ethics SPIG