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July 1992

Goals of Medicine

Author Affiliations

Los Angeles, Calif

Arch Intern Med. 1992;152(7):1530. doi:10.1001/archinte.1992.00400190146031

To the Editor. —  In her analysis of the issues pertinent to decisions regarding the use of cardiopulmonary resuscitation,1 Faber-Langendoen indicated that, under certain circumstances, performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation was contrary to the goals of medicine ("... regaining health, controlling the effects of disease, or relieving suffering..."). In formulating what the goals of medicine are, reference was made to the Hippocratic writings, the American College of Physicians ethics manual, and the article by Kass. These writings do not represent the full extent of the literature that deals with this issue. A large body of religious writings have much to say about this, and they demonstrate that there are differing, legitimate views regarding the goals of medicine.Bleich states, "Judaism regards human life as being of infinite and inestimable value. Not only is life in general of infinite value, but every moment of life is of inestimable value as well...