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Guidant's Ethics in Question Again

Further evidence that the Guidant name might be permanently scarred emerged in this morning's New York Times. The paper reports that a consultant working for Guidant urged the company to tell doctors about heart device defects and overhaul its data-disclosure policies. The consultant, Dr. Richard N. Fogoros, told Guidant that it had an ethical obligation to be forthright with physicians, and erred by substituting its medical judgment for theirs.

The comments were unveiled during the course of a product liability lawsuit in Texas. The question of what to reveal and when is a tricky one. Disclosing too much information too soon can lead to unwarranted hysteria. But it appears Guidant went too far in the other direction, and is paying the price now.

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