Health implications of politically charged phenomena are particularly difficult for physicians to discuss with their patients and communities. Addressing climate change and its associated health effects involves trade-offs between health and economic prosperity, necessitating that physicians weigh the potential benefits and risks of discussing climate change health effects. We argue that the potential benefits of physician communication and advocacy ultimately outweigh the potential risks. Therefore, physicians should be supported in their efforts to educate their patients and communities about climate change health effects. Furthermore, democratic deliberation could prove helpful in addressing disagreements among physicians within a practice about such politicized health topics.
Recommended CitationAlame, Diana and Truog, Robert D., "How Should Clinicians Weigh the Benefits and Harms of Discussing Politicized Topics that Influence Their Individual Patients' Health?" (2017). Department of Pathology, Anatomy, and Cell Biology Faculty Papers. Paper 259.