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September 26, 1903


Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1903;XLI(13):785-787. doi:10.1001/jama.1903.92490320025001e

I believe that the majority of physicians concede the truth and justice of the philosophy of Bacon, who writes, "I hold every man a debtor to his profession; from the which as men of course do seek to receive countenance and profit, so ought they of duty to endeavor themselves by way of amends to be a help and ornament thereunto." The very acknowledgment of such indebtedness carries with it obligations and duties which we as a body and as individuals can no more shirk than we can the duties and responsibilities we owe our patients. Hippocrates recognized the indebtedness he owed his profession, despite the crudity of medicine as it was then taught and practiced, and notwithstanding the less respected position then occupied by the medical fraternity. Probably the first universally received code of ethics, as offered by this worshiper at the shrine of justice and

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