Could Taylor Swift's endorsement of a candidate sway the outcome of a US Presidential election? Swift’s ability to sell millions of dollars worth of concert tickets and expand TV viewership of NFL games among people not particularly interested in football is undeniable. According to a 2023 survey, more than half of American adults polled are avid Swift fans, which includes almost as many men as women, but these fans tend to be more Democratic than Republican and more White than Black.
The electoral influence that Taylor Swift may have among her trusting and admiring devotees raises the question of how physicians should engage in political conversations with their patients.
AMA Code of Medical Ethics Opinion 2.3.4, “Political Communications,” states that “when physicians wish to express their personal political views to a patient or a patient’s family, the physician must be sensitive to the imbalance of power in the patient-physician relationship, as well as to the patient’s vulnerability and desire for privacy.” Political conversations should not be initiated by physicians during the clinical encounter. If a patient, for example, expresses a different choice for a political candidate than that of a physician, these differences must not “interfere with the delivery of professional care” by the treating physician.
To further explore the AMA Code of Medical Ethics, please visit AMAethicscode.org.
Published on November 15, 2023