Defense Date


Graduation Date

Spring 5-10-2019


One-year Embargo

Submission Type


Degree Name



Health Care Ethics


McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts

Committee Chair

Dr. Gerard Magill

Committee Member

Dr. Joris Gielen

Committee Member

Dr. Peter Osuji


Conflicts of Interest, Ethical Challenge, Clinical Ethics, Organizational Ethics, Professional Ethics, Ethics Programs, Data Sharing.


Conflicts of interest are prevalent across all walks of society, and unfortunately, the healthcare industry is not immune to these impediments. Conflicts of interest arise when the objective of upholding a patients’ interest collide with the physicians’ secondary goals and is mostly but not always related to monetary gain.

To avoid conflict of interest, it is advisable for medical practitioners to weigh the pros and cons that their actions would inflict. Medical practices whose benefits outweigh the associated risks are ethically upright hence avoid conflict of interest.

Each section proposes solutions for the conflicts of interest encountered at the disparate healthcare settings and contexts, and thus the dissertation’s immense contribution to the field. For instance, the study proved normative methods to be key to ethical decision making in healthcare as they establish rules, procedures, and regulations necessary to achieve informed consent. Moreover, they ensure the patient's full autonomy as it puts them in a comprehensive position that they can voluntarily make their own decisions. This could comprise the most needed solutions in healthcare to ensure patient autonomy and informed consent hence solve the issue of conflict of interest in this context. The dissertation further illustrates how the importance of patient-physician relationship and involvement of family members in meaningful decision making can result in no conflicts of interest. The use of abortion and euthanasia as case studies availed meaningful statistics that are of significant impact in healthcare. These eye-openers raised important debates on the government involvement in such issues and how the current policies are only making the situation worse. In order to make certain legislation effective, the dissertation proved the need for gaining people’s consent in passing laws that affect them, and thus its contribution to society.

The dissertation also elucidates the role of the government in shaping the moral fabric of the society hence its need to be involved in addressing conflict of interest issues in society. On the professional context, the dissertation emphasizes the need to prioritize the code of ethics as a guideline to prevent conflict of interest and proves how they benefit all stakeholders involved. The dissertation notes some proven finding to solutions to conflict of interest and commitment, such as higher reimbursements and payment for every service and highlights the need for policymakers to intervene. Finally, the analysis of organizational conflicts of interest sheds light on the importance of establishing a HEC as a strategy for countering conflicts of interest at the organizational level. Furthermore, the dissertation’s propositions on of the effective solutions to curb conflict of interest, especially regarding data privacy and confidentiality are widely applicable in both healthcare and other fields. Some of these entail data de-identification, reduction of patient-related variables, instilling strict regulations, continuous auditing, transparency, and adoption of user access controls and management system.