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December 1968

Ethics and the Medical Practice of Tomorrow

Arch Intern Med. 1968;122(6):539-540. doi:10.1001/archinte.1968.00300100073018

Traditionally, when ethics are discussed in relationship to medical practice, two major themes are immediately brought into focus: the protection of the rights of the patient, and the respectful regard for the intent and conduct of practice by fellow professionals. Ethics may be viewed as a set of standards outlined to govern behavior so as to insure the performance of that which is morally right. And, what we consider to be morally right—an extraordinarily easy phrase to write down, but a very difficult one to define—primarily derives from a series of religious, legal, philosophical, and historical documents which have as their common denominator a constructive concern for the individuality of man and for the freedom of that individual to grow and develop without compromising the same potential opportunity of others. That is a tall order for most of us—witness the tumultuous hostilities in our streets, schools, and meeting halls—but the

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