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January 9, 1995

Ethical Considerations in the Allocation of Organs and Other Scarce Medical Resources Among Patients

Author Affiliations

Gallipolis, Ohio, Chair; Durham, NC, Vice Chair; Washington, DC; Anaheim, Calif; Columbus, Ohio; Chicago, Ill; Huntington Beach, Calif; Edwardsville, Ill; Buffalo, NY; Chicago, Secretary and Staff Author; Chicago, Staff Associate; Chicago, Staff Associate and Staff Author.

From the Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs, American Medical Association, Chicago, Ill.

Arch Intern Med. 1995;155(1):29-40. doi:10.1001/archinte.1995.00430010033005

Physicians' efforts on behalf of patients often involve the use of resources that, because of naturally limited supply or economic constraints, are not readily available to all who need them. The dilemma in such cases is how physicians may fulfill their ethical duties to "do all that [they] can for the benefit of the individual patient"1 when the care that they can provide is constrained by the scarcity of needed resources.