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January 1988

Clinical Ethics

Arch Surg. 1988;123(1):125. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1988.01400250135035

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A certain dogmatism is expected to permeate an ethics textbook. While group discussions, conferences, and seminars are associated with the interchange of ideas and opinions in highly controversial areas, one expects a book to set forth a pronouncement that is rarely acceptable to everyone. The authors have obviously carefully considered this problem, and the result is an unobtrusive, inoffensive compilation of ethical tenets of practical value to medical practitioners of all types and ages.

One of the more valuable aspects of the book, which is not apparent from its title, is the continual brief summation of current legal rulings applied to various ethical problems. For example, in the discussion of informed consent, the problem of therapeutic privilege is addressed. In addition to discussing the ethical aspects of withholding information, the authors cite and discuss previous legal rulings on therapeutic privilege.

This compilation of information concerning the ethics and legality of

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