According to a new study by Dan Ariely, everyone has the ability to lie and cheat sometimes, but surprising circumstances make lying and cheating more likely. Generally, it is believed that a person does these things because of the promise of a large amount of money or reward.
However, research shows that little incentives stimulate a person’s capacity to lie. An experiment entrusted students to record their own test scores, and it showed that they were likely to be dishonest about their grades if the money reward was 50 cents, as opposed to 10 dollars.
The reason behind this is that people, while aiming for a certain reward, wish to feel like they are still good. Cheating for 50 cents is often seen as a small “white lie” compared to working for 10 dollars, which seems more dishonest to them.
The students even became motivated to cheat when they learned that their peers did so, too. The test also revealed that the level of lying was not affected by the probability of getting caught. Nonetheless, there were still exceptions. Students, when reminded of a moral code connected with the examinations, stopped cheating. This was also the same when participants were asked to swear on a Bible; it was discovered that no cheating occurred, even among self-declared atheists.
In conclusion, it was seen that people have a tendency to cheat but not when a lot is on the line. What better setting to illustrate this with but the conventional medical system?
The GSK Case: Lying in the Pharmaceutical Industry
Let’s study lying in drug companies, for instance. While there are “criminals” present in these corporations, there are also “good” people in them. These “hardworking” individuals often exaggerate their research a little, lie about the effectiveness of a product to a doctor, or downplay the side effects to federal regulators. Profiteering and fibbing thus become a common part of their culture.
A 60 Minutes interview tells the story of Cheryl Eckard, who worked at the Cidra pharmaceutical plant run by one of GlaxoSmithKline’s subsidiaries. Concerned with issues like the use of contaminated water to produce drugs, failures on production lines that led to incorrect dosages, and employees who don’t follow procedures and therefore caused drug contaminations, she sent a summary to seven executives about these discrepancies. She warned them that the plant would likely be seized should the FDA learn about these cases.
The executives did not take heed, and Eckard lost her job. Still concerned about the safety of patients, she went to the FDA, who raided the plant and seized hundreds of defective drugs. GSK soon pleaded guilty because of manufacturing and selling contaminated medications. Many employees were found to be involved, but no one dared to speak because these practices became “accepted” inside the corporation.
Because of the billions of dollars at stake, corporations like GSK will not own up to the problems of their manufacturing processes. In fact, the annual global market of pharmaceutical corporations, when compared to the GDP, would rank 15th on a list of 183 nations.
Dr. Joseph Mercola says, “When it comes to making money, many industries throw ethics and integrity out the window. The entire biotech industry is built on half-truths and claims that are largely unsupported by independent scientific reviews.”
Can You Trust Your Doctor a Hundred Percent?
Doctors are human, too. A study in published in Health Affairs reported, from a survey of nearly 1,900 physicians, that:
- About one-third of doctors do not completely agree with revealing serious medical errors to their patients.
- One-fifth of physicians believed that they should never tell a patient something untrue.
- Forty percent of physicians said that they should hide their financial relations with drug and device companies from their patients.
- Ten percent confessed that they had told their patients something untrue in the previous year.
These physicians admitted that, because of the fear of being sued for malpractice, they would rather withhold information from their patients.
Dr. Mercola says that your defense against this problem is critical thinking, which will help you determine the truths from the half-truths. This is important when making healthcare decisions.
Prevention is better than any cure, so you should take control of your health by leading a healthy lifestyle to avoid going to the doctor and having to use any drugs.
You may also do research on the health problems that may affect your family. You are free to do your own independent review. Seek out the most ethical sources based on their effects on you, the people (and animals) around you, and the environment.
Dr. Mercola adds, “Keep in mind, a reminder of a sound moral code was the only factor that made people stop cheating and lying, so there’s a good chance products that come from morally sound businesses will also be held up to a superior level of quality.”