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Article
July 13, 1929

DEONTOLOGY, OR THE MORAL OBLIGATION OF MEDICINEPRESIDENT'S ADDRESS

JAMA. 1929;93(2):85-89. doi:10.1001/jama.1929.02710020001001
Abstract

It is difficult to state just when medicine first assumed a definite status in human affairs, but its origin may be traced to the primal sympathy of man with man. Sympathy is the quality of being affected by the state of another with feelings corresponding in kind. Sympathy is one of the most effective of the emotions and, like all emotions, is an antecedent of desire. Emotion is an attribute of mankind and in a primitive form is found even in animal life. With the advent of the emotions of sympathy and pity, the heart of man was inspired with a desire to relieve human suffering and pain. Desire has an object in view which is the end to be attained; desire therefore may be said to be the impulse, the motivating power, or the spark that starts action.

In the mind of primitive man, emotions and desires were quite

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