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November 12, 1997

Moral Medicine and Universal Health Care-Reply

Author Affiliations

University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia
Union College Schenectady, NY
American Medical Association Chicago, Ill

JAMA. 1997;278(18):1494. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550180044034

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Dr Emanuel is surely correct to observe that American medicine must "use its influence to promote a universal health care system" in the United States. Since this nation has decided to rely on free-market approaches in the provision of services, we maintain that free-market medicine is not moral medicine until universal access is secured. Exactly how that goal is to be attained in the context of market-based medicine is open to debate. That it is the central feature of what makes a medical system a moral one is not.