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May 25, 1957

Morals in Medicine

JAMA. 1957;164(4):503-504. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02980040143036

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The author correctly defines ethics as "an investigation into the goodness or evil of human actions in the light of natural reason." He has sought to extract from ethics, moral theology, and canon law the principles of each as he thinks they should apply to the actions of members of the medical profession. If the triad of disciplines on which this book rests is accepted by the reader as proper and germane, then there can be no disagreement with the author on the score of the treatment of the subject as he has outlined it. Very probably he is a skilled theologian and a man learned in canon law, but the application of principles of moral theology and canon law to ethical principles, as such principles apply to the practice of medicine, is a proposition that must be accepted or rejected by the individual physician, exactly as he must accept

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