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September 2016

Excellence in Medicine and the Case for Aspirational Ethics

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Dermatology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
  • 2Florida Center for Dermatology, PA, St Augustine
  • 3Department of Preventive Medicine and Biostatistics, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland
JAMA Dermatol. 2016;152(9):971-972. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2016.2135

What is ethics? In the more than 2 centuries since the 1803 publication of Medical Ethics by Thomas Percival,1 physicians, ethicists, and the public have grappled with bioethics’ positive and proscription boundaries. Percival appreciated the emerging dichotomy between the “study of professional ethics … [which] cannot fail to invigorate and enlarge your understanding … [and] the observance of the duties which they enjoin.”1(pviii-ix)

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