To the Editor.
—Many thanks for the thoughtful second opinion on the new medical ethics of Sider and Clements in the December 1985 issue of the Archives.1 Where, however, does the new medical ethics say that the physician is not responsible for providing his best medical judgment and recommendations to the patient? This is what seems to be implied. The new medical ethics in no way removes responsibility from the physician to give his best medical judgment and recommendations. The physician is encouraged to make sure the patient knows that there are options and choices to be made, although paternalism is reduced. Patient autonomy is not inviolate. An ethical physician should assist the patient in recognizing the implications of a decision, implications that go beyond the subjective.The editorial leaves me hanging. In the Greek sense, to practice ethically is to seek to practice better and better medicine, to
Clark H. The New Medical Ethics. Arch Intern Med. 1986;146(8):1631. doi:10.1001/archinte.1986.00360200209039