Parsimonious Care


Do No Harm — And Keep An Eye On Costs

By Kaiser Health News staff writers

The American College of Physicians startled and astonished the medical establishment when it released an updated ethics manual calling for doctors to provide “parsimonious care” – in other words, “to practice effective and efficient health care and to use health care resources responsibly.”

(Image: Kaiser Health News)

(Image: Kaiser Health News)

This recommendation, included in the January 3, Annals of Internal Medicine special supplement, drew immediate reaction – and not just because of its use of the infrequently heard “parsimonious.” It’s been viewed as a definitive statement of medical ethics directed at the organization’s 132,000 members – physicians who practice internal medicine and its related specialties, among them cardiology and oncology, that often involve expensive procedures. And, the guidance comes at a time when health care costs are central to the national policy debate. Continue reading