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March 18, 1992

The Duty to Attend Upon the Sick-Reply

Author Affiliations

American Medical Association Chicago, Ill

JAMA. 1992;267(11):1468. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03480110043024

In Reply.  —Dr Passey's letter raises several points. The first seems to be that refusing to treat patients with HIV constitutes a "meaningful choice" that should be highly valued. What remains unclear is why preservation of an option that both disserves patients and fails to maintain professional standards should be applauded under the rubric of "freedom of choice."Second, although we share many of Dr Passey's concerns about the growing regulation of the medical profession, we do not believe that licensing boards' support of ethical standards degrades the profession. The concerns we might have when government regulates with an eye toward economics rather than patient welfare are not present here where the medical profession itself is setting the standards. This is simply not a situation where the government is at odds with professional and ethical standards; they are in full congruity.Moreover, one need not espouse "a state monopoly on