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The ethics of general practice and advertising.
  1. R D Colman

    Abstract

    UK general practitioners (GPs) are self-employed entrepreneurs running small businesses with commercial considerations. In this situation there is no clear distinction between information, self-promotion and advertising. In response to the growing public demand for more information about medical services, the medical profession should voluntarily accept the notion of soft self-promotion in the form of 'notices' or 'announcements' placed in newspapers. Newspapers are the most effective way of giving easy access to information. The resistance to newspapers may be more concerned with preserving certain medical traditions than consideration of the public interest. The General Medical Council's (GMC's) arguments against soft self-promotion are seen as misguided paternalism, inconsistent and irrational.

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