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<p>The ongoing debate surrounding the effort to reform the U.S. health-care system has stirred charges that the proposed changes would pose significant threats to patient choice, but a group of the nation’s leading bioethics scholars refutes those claims and says that allowing the status quo to continue would be unethical.</p>

Myths About Health Care Reform Further Snarl Debate, Bioethicists Say

“I worry that in the heat of debate about arguably the most important domestic public policy issue of the past 40 years, we will lose the chance to pass comprehensive health reform because of some well-placed ads and rumors,” said Eric M. Meslin, Ph.D., a member of the Association of Bioethics Program Directors and director of the Indiana University Center for Bioethics.

Earlier this week, the Association of Bioethics Program Directors issued a statement countering some common misperceptions about health-care reform legislation.

“The current proposals being debated in Congress all go a long way toward making health care in America more just. At the same time, there is nothing in the proposals that threatens a patient’s right to choose—a critical feature of an ethically acceptable health-care system,” says the Association of Bioethics Program Directors. The ABPD includes the leadership of 60 academic bioethics programs in North America.

“Health care reform proposals are difficult enough to assess without being sidetracked by myths that are patently false,” said Dr. Meslin, who also is associate dean for bioethics at the Indiana University School of Medicine.

The ABPD statement, “Three Myths about the Ethics of Health Care Reform,” can be read at