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March 1996

The Ethical Ophthalmologist, A Primer

Arch Ophthalmol. 1996;114(3):358-359. doi:10.1001/archopht.1996.01100130354032

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


"There is no Duke-Elder to provide instruction" [for medical ethics in ophthalmology], this ringbound book by multiple authors correctly states. In medicine, ethics used to be learned through shared traditional values and mentoring. This is changing, however, because the medical profession is moving toward becoming a commercial enterprise with cost control as a primary concern and because standards of behavior for the physician are shifting with variable community standards.

The Ethical Ophthalmologist offers some practical guidelines in this situation, although it declares from the outset that it will not be a "cookbook" or a how-to handbook for ethical conduct. It is a case studyoriented presentation of bioethical issues aimed to help better recognize and analyze ethical dilemmas, focus discussion, and facilitate "satisfactory outcomes."

Each of the 12 highly relevant chapters focuses on a specific professional activity or behavior: "Informed Consent"; "Patient Rights and Surrogacy"; "Delegation of Authority"; "Research"; "New Technology";

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