Robert B. Brown, MD; Adrian Dafcik, MD; Michael Friedland, MD
To the editors: The articles by Schwartz and colleagues (1) and Lewis and coworkers (2) reporting survey results regarding internists' practice of disease prevention counseling were interesting and informative. Without disputing the potential benefit of such counseling, we question the necessity and appropriateness of physicians' assuming the responsibility for advising patients to use seat belts. To what degree is it appropriate to expect physicians to become involved in attempting to modify a patient's lifestyle and habits?
No one would seriously disagree with counseling against alcohol, drug, or tobacco abuse, because these agents are clearly associated with potential adverse health consequences.
Brown RB, Dafcik A, Friedland M. Prevention: Where Do We Draw the Line?. Ann Intern Med. ;114:706–707. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-114-8-706_2
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1991;114(8):706-707.
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