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December 11, 1981

The Rights of Doctors, Nurses and Allied Health Professionals: A Health Law Primer

Author Affiliations

The Medical College of Wisconsin Milwaukee

JAMA. 1981;246(23):2749. doi:10.1001/jama.1981.03320230065036

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This reviewer customarily approaches titles beginning The Rights of... with reluctance, since rights ordinarily imply corresponding obligations, and the latter are often glossed over in such discussions. The book at issue, however, is not a tract and seems reasonably balanced. It is one of a series on rights of various groups put out as a handbook of the American Civil Liberties Union.

It is addressed to persons considered "health care providers" and presents an accurate, if basic, compendium of knowledge useful to them. The thesis appears to be that both providers and patients will be better off if the law regarding provider rights is understood. Most of the material focuses on physicians, usually in the hospital context; but sections devoted to nurses, technicians, and other personnel are very useful and flow from and relate to physician rights and decisions. The authors do not allow their bias—that the health care system's