May 1997

Should Every Day Be Melanoma Monday?

Arch Dermatol. 1997;133(5):569-571. doi:10.1001/archderm.1997.03890410021002

To what extent am I my brothers' keeper? Perhaps this is one of the stickiest ethical questions that modern man, living in this increasingly impersonalized world, faces. For the medical profession, this quandary keeps resurfacing within the context of the present upheaval in the medical care delivery system and the redefinition and trend toward impersonalization of the physician-patient relationship. What responsibilities do I, as a physician, have to my patients?

Within the specialty of dermatology, one of the most important questions that exemplifies this quandary (since it involves life and death consequences) is: "To what extent are we as skin specialists obliged to offer our patients comprehensive skin examinations?" Put in another way, one might ask, "Do we have an ethical obligation as dermatologists to do all we can to prevent, detect, and treat the most deadly of dermatologic conditions, ie, melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma?" Is it ethical

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