Editorial Director’s Foreword

Posted On 2014-06-11 15:20:37

What is the core value of clinical service and medical research? It follows the most important rule that “patients come first.” And what on earth drives our aim and scope at Journal of Thoracic Disease (JTD)? It is the passion for patient benefits. Unfortunately, the increasingly extreme commercialization of medicine over the past 50 years in many countries has eroded physician-patient relationships and undermined the patients’ rights to health care in favor of financial gain for the medical industry. In fact, it is ironically believed that many expensive forms of medical care like emergency coverage, palliative therapies, end-of-life care, and long-term care would increase the patients’ disability-adjusted of life years (DALYs). Hence, JTD and many other medical journals worldwide insist that health care should be humane in the first place regardless of the financial implications. Also, governments should seek the benefits that this DALY system would provide, unless their commitment to for-profit companies is greater than their concern for their citizens.

Starting from the birth of JTD, we are very keen in providing evidences of medical sciences to the physicians all over the world for the benefits of COPD patients. In August 2012, JTD was endorsed by and has been collaborating with the International COPD Coalition (ICC) ever since. JTD’s ICC column is jointly elaborated by JTD and ICC as a regular column with the global efforts of COPD patient organizations, lung physicians and experts dealing with the global COPD epidemic. ICC column aims at exploring the protection of patients’ rights in clinical diagnosis and treatment through introducing the endeavor and achievement made internationally for COPD patient benefits. It concerns social issues with wide topics including the patients’ rights protection, reducing patients’ health care expenses, medical bribery, and the relationship between pharmaceutical industry development and patients’ rights, to name a few.

The Consumer Day 315, or the Consumer Rights Day (March 15), is not only popular in China, but also in many other countries. The topic of the Consumer Day 315 in 2014 was “New Laws to Protect Consumers: Rights and Responsibilities.” During 2014 and 2015, JTD’s ICC column will devote itself to promote the patient’s consumerism on the basis of the spirit advocated by Consumer Day 315.

To this end, ICC column would like to make more health care professionals and patients familiar with its valuable mandate. We look forward to the input from ICC’s member organizations and patients’ right advocacy entities. We also look forward to arousing JTD readers’ attention on patients’ right and their dedication to promoting the enforcement of new laws to protect consumers, which could benefit COPD patients. We believe that the articles related to advocacy of patients’ rights at JTD’s ICC column will have a long way to go in guiding the philosophy of healthcare services in China and many other places in the world.

Just an imitation poem of Alexander Pope’s style:
Patients’ right,
Over-shaded amidst booming industrial markets
God says, let ICC Column be!
And all out it goes for patient benefits.

(Dr Professor Guangqiao Zeng, State Key Laboratory of Respiratory Disease, and National Clinical Center for Respiratory Disease, Guangzhou Medical University, China)