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February 1, 1965

Professional Ethics

Author Affiliations

Naperville, Ill

JAMA. 1965;191(5):421. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03080050066030

To the Editor:—  It would appear proper to include in a balanced concept of ethics as a basis for medical practice, the consideration of the physician as a human living being who needs the necessities and comforts of an earthly existence for himself and his family. Ethics should ground itself upon man as man and not solely upon man as a spiritual being; man has to exist within a material context. When basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter are supplied, economic action becomes a means, as the Rev. Edmund A. Opitz maintains,1 "... not only to more refined economic goods but to the highest goods of the mind and spirit. Add flying buttresses and spires to four walls and a roof, and a mere shelter for the body develops into a cathedral to house the spirit of man."Creaturely needs admittedly are legitimate and they sanction the inclusion of

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