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February 1969

Philosophy and Ethics of Medicine.

Author Affiliations


Am J Dis Child. 1969;117(2):256. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1969.02100030258026

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Dr. Gelfand has been in medical practice in Rhodesia for 30 years. In this small book, he sets forth his ideas of medicine. The essays are intended for young physicians, apparently, and include various characterizations of the doctor and his relation to patients.

There is apparent contradiction in various sections, due perhaps to confusion of idealism with reality. Gelfand says that the doctor is as kind as the next man, is able to diagnose, has a good intellect, and is not merely clever. He pursues the truth, works hard, and "understands and respects the inconsistencies of man." Yet "presumably a large number of people enter the profession as it offers an assured and satisfactory livelihood." In another section describing the "characteristics of the profession," he describes physicians as conservative, fearful of losing patients, envious, and desirous of praise.

The aims of medicine are to help to restore the health of

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