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July 21, 1883

Do Moral Principles Change?—

JAMA. 1883;I(2):57. doi:10.1001/jama.1883.02390020025004

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Are they subject to the Darwinian law of evolution? Has time rendered the declarations of the decalogue obsolete?

We are constrained to ask the foregoing questions by expressions we hear occasionally concerning the National Code of Ethics, by a class of physictans who are properly represented by Dr. S. Pollak, in the preamble and resolutions he offered to the recent meeting of the American Medical Association, and which can be found in the record of proceedings contained in the first number of this Journal. He says:

"The Code of Ethics has an existence coeval with the organization of the American Medical Association. It was absolutely necessary then, and it cannot be entirely dispensed with now. But in thirty-four years this country has presented so many phases in its development and progress, that new laws are being constantly enacted, and old laws are repealed or modified to suit the requirements of

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