What does crowdfunding have to do with medical ethics? Actually, a lot. The number one type of crowdfunding campaign on sites like GoFundMe is medical expenses. Crowdfunding brings up several ethical issues such as medical privacy, emotional manipulation, fraud, inequality, and doctor endorsements. In my article in MercatorNet, I discuss some of the issues surrounding crowdfunding medical expenses.
The majority of medical crowdfunding campaigns do not reach their goals. And often the people who do reach their goals not the ones that are most in need, but the ones who are better at telling a compelling story, have a larger social network, are young and white. Furthermore, few people know that a percentage of the donations goes back to the company running the crowdfunding website.
Crowdfunding medical expenses is great when it works, but there needs to be other ways to help people fund their medical expenses, such as charities that know how to direct funds for the largest impact and toward those who are most in need.