Competing and conflicting interests in the care of critically ill patients

Alison Turnbull, Sarina Sahetya, Elizabeth Daugherty Biddison, Christiane S. Hartog, Gordon D. Rubenfeld, Dominique D. Benoit, Bertrand Guidet, Rik T. Gerritsen, Mark R. Tonelli, J. Randall Curtis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Medical professionals are expected to prioritize patient interests, and most patients trust physicians to act in their best interest. However, a single patient is never a physician’s sole concern. The competing interests of other patients, clinicians, family members, hospital administrators, regulators, insurers, and trainees are omnipresent. While prioritizing patient interests is always a struggle, it is especially challenging and important in the ICU setting where most patients lack the ability to advocate for themselves or seek alternative sources of care. This review explores factors that increase the risk, or the perception, that an ICU physician will reason, recommend, or act in a way that is not in their patient’s best interest and discusses steps that could help minimize the impact of these factors on patient care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalIntensive Care Medicine
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018



  • Clinical studies as topic
  • Conflict of interest
  • Critical care
  • Patient-centered care
  • Research design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

Cite this

Turnbull, A., Sahetya, S., Daugherty Biddison, E., Hartog, C. S., Rubenfeld, G. D., Benoit, D. D., Guidet, B., Gerritsen, R. T., Tonelli, M. R., & Curtis, J. R. (Accepted/In press). Competing and conflicting interests in the care of critically ill patients. Intensive Care Medicine.