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November 1960

Morals and Medicine.

Author Affiliations

By Joseph Fletcher, with foreword by Karl Menninger. Price, not given. Pp. 243, with no illustrations. Princeton University Press, Princeton, N.J., 1954.

Arch Intern Med. 1960;106(5):745-746. doi:10.1001/archinte.1960.03820050157030

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Fletcher's book on morals and medicine deals with five subjects of extraordinary importance in medicine, particularly as the current practice of medicine is influenced by developments going on about us all the time. This book has been the theme of symposia. It has been reviewed and discussed widely and has led to further books both in rebuttal and in agreement. Karl Menninger has written a very perceptive foreword in which he emphasized the deeply religious and ethical nature of the author as well as his outspoken disagreements with certain prevalent Roman Catholic convictions, emphasizing in Fletcher's own words, "Were medical men and non-Catholics to expend the care and concern we have seen in the studies of the Roman theologians, how much might be gained for man's moral stature and for the claims of mercy and wellbeing!"

Fletcher begins with an analysis of human rights in life, health, and death. Though