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July 1973

Humanistic Perspectives in Medical Ethics

Arch Surg. 1973;107(1):113. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1973.01350190095030

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The 14 chapters of this book concern

the ethical problems of physicians today and... what they are likely to be tomorrow, in the light of history and of philosophy as well as in relation to the changing social scene.... The basic presupposition on which the authors of these essays agree is that an improvement in the human conditon must be the desired goal.

In this context, Dr. Maurice B. Visscher has brought together provocative material from many well-known contributors. Five of the 14 chapters have appeared elsewhere, but they are still relevant and worthwhile to ponder. Too often, we physicians respond to daily demands with such alacrity and myopia that we seldom get a perspective of ourselves, our work, and our world. If read carefully, this book should make us reexamine our attitudes about death, suicide, euthanasia, military service, war atrocities, psychotropic drugs, birth defects, human reproduction and experimentation, fee-for-service,

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