Introduction

This February 2019 presentation explored ethical considerations of appropriate antibiotic prescribing of public health, primary care and specialist physicians, where there may be perceived tension between duty to individual patients and duty to avoid overuse of antimicrobials.

Published: 2019

Subject Area(s):

Author(s):

A Public Health and Preventative Medicine (PHPM) webinar hosted by NCCID, this February 2019 presentation explored ethical considerations of appropriate antibiotic prescribing of public health, primary care and specialist physicians, where there may be perceived tension between duty to individual patients and duty to avoid overuse of antimicrobials.

Antimicrobial resistance is an increasing threat to population health and can be devastating for patients. There is evolution of a coordinated approach to AMR: there is more information available for patients and prescribers (antibioticawareness.ca) to educate and guide, and health authorities and governments are starting to invest more in their antimicrobial stewardship efforts. This can leave some physicians unsure about what is best for their patients.

Our presenter, Dr. Lynora Saxinger, explored the ethics of antimicrobial stewardship, including how this is framed by national physician societies, and offered some current and evolving strategies to help balance practitioners’ concerns, such as whether they will be held accountable for any harm from withholding treatment, or fears of doing something ‘new’ or non-normative among their colleagues.

Learning Objectives:

  • To describe the evolution of antimicrobial resistance globally and in Canada
  • Evaluate some of the ethical issues posed by AMR both broadly (current and future risk, issues of distribution of resources) and in specific physician patient interactions including considerations for appropriate prescribing for infectious diseases
  • Propose strategies to mitigate concerns from patients and colleagues when asked to make changes to prescribing habits
  • Demonstrate enhanced CanMEDS competencies (particularly Professional, Communicator, Advocate, Leader, Collaborator) in areas of antimicrobial resistance, appropriate prescribing and stewardship, health advocacy and professionalism

An archived version of this webinar is available for viewing. Please email us to request access.