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September 23 2009

Professional Behaviors of Physicians and Pursuing Social Justice

JAMA. 2009;302(12):1269-1270. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1349

To the Editor: In their Commentary, Dr Kirch and Mr Vernon1 noted that among the 4 pillars of medical ethics, justice stands apart. Considerations of justice are indeed underemphasized in the professional behaviors of physicians relative to the 3 other virtues of beneficence, nonmaleficence, and respect for autonomy. What the authors failed to note is the striking difference in focus, skills, and behaviors necessary to effectively practice justice as a clinician.

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