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February 24, 1984

The World Medical Association and Medical Ethics

Author Affiliations

Secretary General of the World Medical Association
From the World Medical Association, Braine-L'Alleud, Belgium.

JAMA. 1984;251(8):1039-1040. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340320025020


The World Medical Association whom you have so graciously agreed to receive this day, represents among its membership over a million doctors from more than 40 countries around the world.

Ever since it was founded in 1948, our Association has been mainly concerned with problems of medical ethics, but we have also kept a close watch on the various social security systems as they developed in order to forestall all the menaces they have forced upon the doctor-patient relationship and also to safeguard what constitutes the dignity of man—namely, his freedom of conscience and his freedom of choice, without which the trust which must exist between the patient and his physician becomes meaningless.

Among the many fields covered by medicine, ethics has always been the most vulnerable. This is the main reason why medical ethics has always been regarded by doctors as demanding the closest attention and deserving