SCREENING OLDER PHYSICIANS FOR COGNITIVE IMPAIRMENT: JUSTIFIABLE OR DISCRIMINATORY?

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  • Author(s): Moore, Ilene N.
  • Source:
    Health Matrix: Journal of Law-Medicine. 2018, Vol. 28, p95-173. 79p.
  • Document Type:
    Abstract
  • Additional Information
    • Subject Terms:
    • Abstract:
      In the U.S., one out of eight practicing physicians is older than sixty-five, and many practice well into their seventies. Many commentators and healthcare organizations, concerned that aging physicians are at risk for cognitive impairment, have urged, or actually instituted, cognitive "screening" for older physicians as a means to ensure patient safety. An age-based screening program, however, should not proceed unless supported by clear evidence and not prohibited by law. This article argues that neither of these conditions applies. Singling out all older physicians for cognitive testing is empirically unjustified and legally prohibited. Furthermore, there are other means to reliably monitor and identify physicians, both older and younger, who pose risk to patients. Legally, two federal statutes prohibit age-based screening. According to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (the "ADEA"), age-based screening constitutes prohibited discrimination because it is based on unsupported stereotyping about age and imposes a burden on one set of employees while overlooking others. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (collectively, the "ADA"), age-based screening constitutes prohibited discrimination because an employer is only permitted to require medical examination when it has reasonable belief that an individual has a condition that could interfere with job performance or the individual poses direct threat to others. The consequence of both these statutes is that hospitals cannot go on a "fishing expedition" and conduct en masse screening of their older medical staff; they can only examine those whom they have reason to believe may be impaired or otherwise dysfunctional. The article concludes by discussing processes and methodologies that facilitate identification of physicians of any age who may warrant further assessment. By enabling hospitals to identify physicians of all ages who pose risk to patient safety in a way that aligns with the principles of th e ADEA an d ADA, they can strike th e appropriate balance between fostering p a tien t safety and not discriminating against one physician demographic. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • Abstract:
      Copyright of Health Matrix: Journal of Law-Medicine is the property of Case Western Reserve University School of Law and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)
    • ISSN:
      0748-383X
    • Accession Number:
      129525670
  • Citations
    • ABNT:
      MOORE, I. N. Screening Older Physicians for Cognitive Impairment: Justifiable or Discriminatory? Health Matrix: Journal of Law-Medicine, [s. l.], v. 28, p. 95, 2018. Disponível em: . Acesso em: 22 set. 2019.
    • AMA:
      Moore IN. Screening Older Physicians for Cognitive Impairment: Justifiable or Discriminatory? Health Matrix: Journal of Law-Medicine. 2018;28:95. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=f5h&AN=129525670. Accessed September 22, 2019.
    • APA:
      Moore, I. N. (2018). Screening Older Physicians for Cognitive Impairment: Justifiable or Discriminatory? Health Matrix: Journal of Law-Medicine, 28, 95. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=f5h&AN=129525670
    • Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date:
      Moore, Ilene N. 2018. “Screening Older Physicians for Cognitive Impairment: Justifiable or Discriminatory?” Health Matrix: Journal of Law-Medicine 28 (January): 95. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=f5h&AN=129525670.
    • Harvard:
      Moore, I. N. (2018) ‘Screening Older Physicians for Cognitive Impairment: Justifiable or Discriminatory?’, Health Matrix: Journal of Law-Medicine, 28, p. 95. Available at: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=f5h&AN=129525670 (Accessed: 22 September 2019).
    • Harvard: Australian:
      Moore, IN 2018, ‘Screening Older Physicians for Cognitive Impairment: Justifiable or Discriminatory?’, Health Matrix: Journal of Law-Medicine, vol. 28, p. 95, viewed 22 September 2019, .
    • MLA:
      Moore, Ilene N. “Screening Older Physicians for Cognitive Impairment: Justifiable or Discriminatory?” Health Matrix: Journal of Law-Medicine, vol. 28, Jan. 2018, p. 95. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=f5h&AN=129525670.
    • Chicago/Turabian: Humanities:
      Moore, Ilene N. “Screening Older Physicians for Cognitive Impairment: Justifiable or Discriminatory?” Health Matrix: Journal of Law-Medicine 28 (January 2018): 95. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=f5h&AN=129525670.
    • Vancouver/ICMJE:
      Moore IN. Screening Older Physicians for Cognitive Impairment: Justifiable or Discriminatory? Health Matrix: Journal of Law-Medicine [Internet]. 2018 Jan [cited 2019 Sep 22];28:95. Available from: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=f5h&AN=129525670