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April 10, 1967


Author Affiliations

Chicago Chairman, AMA Committee on Medicine and Religion

JAMA. 1967;200(2):162. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03120150118027

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Through ages physicians have wrestled with the moral and ethical issues which are inherent in the care of patients. Clinicians have long pondered dilemmas such as these: How far should one go in maintaining the life of a patient facing an inevitably fatal termination from widespread cancer, and what should one say to such a patient? What are the ultimate goals that make the long preparation and hard work required of the physician worth all the effort? What part should the physician be prepared to play in helping persons in trouble from marital dissension, sex problems of adolescence, alcoholism, etc? In the present era of advanced medical technology, such problems as the following have come to the fore: Under what circumstances should the hospital resuscitation team undertake to restore circulation when there has been cardiac arrest, and how long should these efforts continue? How is one to resolve the moral

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