August 1986

The New Medical Ethics

Arch Intern Med. 1986;146(8):1631. doi:10.1001/archinte.1986.00360200209040

To the Editor.  —In their disavowal of "The New Medical Ethics" Drs Sider and Clements1 apparently have a low opinion of the informed patient. They state that the patient's responsibility "to make a good (correct) choice is virtually ignored" (by whom?), and that "patients need to justify (their) behaviors when they unnecessarily endanger life and health." The nature of being ill implies the need to trust one's doctor. As a physician, my job is made easier by working with an educated patient in an open, trusting relationship. A patient who insists on caring for himself usually either has a long association with a chronic medical condition or has failed to find a trustworthy doctor. Patients sometimes find, to their dismay, that physicians' priorities are too often not in the patients' best interest. Lack of trust may result from an uncaring physician's attitude, or the absence of sound and successful

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