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November 1997

Ethics in the Medical Profession

Author Affiliations

University of Missouri Health Science Center 1 Hospital Dr, Room M173 HSC Columbia, MO 65212

Arch Dermatol. 1997;133(11):1361-1362. doi:10.1001/archderm.1997.03890470033006

PASCAL'S INSIGHT is that we are compelled by our inborn nature to solve our moral problems. It is instinctive in the same way that we are driven to use language. We have the innate talent to be moral, just as we have the talent to communicate. When we behave morally, we thrive as a species because the instinct has emerged from our long, dangerous journey through prehistory. However, it is not sufficient merely to talk about morality, to act nicely, to create a consensus, to build some political harmony among ourselves, or even to follow the old customs. We must truly be moral. Most components of our old world are changing. We are forced to think and solve our new problems to find the way to greater achievements. All our great endeavors in history have required radical developments in our moral philosophy. Often this process emerged in response to terrible