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March 1951

The Ethical Basis of Medical Practice.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1951;87(3):471. doi:10.1001/archinte.1951.03810030144015

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


The book is a result of requests received by Dr. Sperry, Dean of the Harvard Divinity School, following the delivery of several addresses on medical ethics, to expand and publish the material in book form. The book is small, and, for the most part, it is interesting and easy reading. The reader will find one ethical problem, euthanasia, and perhaps others, discussed in sufficient detail to be of real help. The author has the background to enable him to add color to his writing and the experience in the medical, as well as in the religious, field to promote better understanding and teamwork between the two professions. For example, he brings out clearly many of the difficulties facing the clergy in their attempts to administer to the sick, attempts which, because of their limitations, often appear of little value.

But if the reader is left with some feeling of disappointment,

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