January 1997

Patient-Physician Covenant

Arch Ophthalmol. 1997;115(1):134. doi:10.1001/archopht.1997.01100150136037

We heartily endorse the concept of the "Patient-Physician Covenant" published by Crawshaw et al1 in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Medical care is, indeed, a "special kind of human activity" whose foundation is a promise, a profession, to be trustworthy. In times such as these when the means of providing care are in flux, it is useful, if not mandatory, to reflect on the basic elements of medical care that make it precious to a population. These basic elements cannot be ignored or negotiated if the public is to receive the care it deserves and requires. It is, indeed, our duty to advocate for the welfare of our patients by affirming our covenant to care.

The generic elements of caring for the ill and infirm are constant. So are the temptations to material gain for the caregivers. The recipients of medical care are vulnerable because of their

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