The inclination of modern jurists to associate lawyers with doctors: Plato's response inGorgias 464–465
- Dr. Bruce Kimball Ed.D.
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From the turn of the century, jurists have tended to associate lawyers with doctors as professionals and tried to ground this association in an analogy between law and medicine. Paradoxically, such comparisons suggest that American law and medicine are not analogous, while an analogy proposed by Plato illumines more fundamental respects in which law and medicine might be truly analogous.
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- Richard Wasserstrom, “Lawyers as Professionals: Some Moral Issues”Human Rights 5 (Fall 1975): 1, 2n., 5; Charles Frankel, “Review, Code of Professional Responsibility”University of Chicago Law Review 43 (1976): 875; Robert Stevens,Law School: Legal Education in America from the 1850s to the 1980s (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1983), passim.
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- Warren Burger quoted in Steven Brill, “Headnotes: Uncle Warren,”American Lawyer 5 (October 1984): 9; Pound,The Lawyer, p. 14.
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- Cf. the views of John of Paris: “Accordingly, the Philosopher (Aristotle) says ... in thePolitics that a lawyer is more estimable than a doctor since the lawyer has charge of souls, the doctor of bodies.” (Tractatus de Potestate Regia et Papali (1302), in Jean Leclercq, ed.Jean de Paris et l'Ecclesiologie du XIIIe Siecle [Paris: Vrin, 1942], p. 214); John of Arezzo: “But medicine is worthier than law because medicine is concerned both with the internal and essential, as well as the external and accidental passions of people, while law deals only with the externals.” (De Medicina et Legum Prestentia  in Thorndike, “Medicine versus Law,” p. 21); and Lon Fuller, who also quotes Aristotle: “It is an easy matter to know the effects of honey, wine, hellebore, cautery and cutting. But to know how, for whom, and when we should apply these as remedies is no less an undertaking than being a physician.” (The Morality of Law (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1964), p. 94.
- Translations are fromPlato: The Collected Dialogues, ed. H. Cairns (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1961).
- Werner Jaeger,Paideia: The Ideals of Greek Culture (New York: Oxford University Press, 1943), vol. 2, pp. 231–232.
- “Friend to Plato, but friend above all to truth.” See Aristotle,Nicomachean Ethics, trans. Martin Ostwald (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1962) 1156a-1157a, p. 10n.
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- Lon L. Fuller and John D. Randall, “Preface,” in “Professional Responsibility: Report of the Joint Conference,”American Bar Association Journal 44 (1958): 1159.
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- “Professional Responsibility, p. 1162.
- Wasserstrom, “Lawyers as Professionals,” pp. 5–6, 10.
- Here and below, I draw upon: Fried, “The Lawyer as Friend,” pp. 1080–1087; John T. Noonan, Jr., “The Purposes of Advocacy and the Limits of Confidentiality,”Michigan Law Review 64 (1966): 1485–1492; Monroe H. Freedman,Lawyers' Ethics in an Adversary System (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1975); Henry D. Levine, “Self-Interest or Self-Defense: Lawyer Disregard of the Attorney-Client Privilege for Profit and Protection,”Hofstra Law Review 5 (1977): 783–829: William H. Simon, “The Ideology of Advocacy: Procedural Justice and Professional Ethics,”Wisconsin Law Review (1978): 29–144; John T. Noonan, Jr. “Book Review: Professional Ethics or Personal Responsibility?”Stanford Law Review 29 (1977): 363–370; Erwin Chemerinsky, “Protecting Lawyers from Their Profession: Redefining the Lawyer's Role,”Journal of the Legal Profession 5 (1980): 31–43; Deborah L. Rhode, “Ethical Perspectives on Legal Practice,”Stanford Law Review 37 (1985): 589–652; David Luban, ed.,The Good Lawyer: Lawyers' Roles and Lawyers' Ethics (Totowa, N.J.: Rowman and Allanheld, 1984); “ABA Model Code of Professional Responsibility,” and “ABA Model Rules of Professional Responsibility,” in1985 Selected Standards on Professional Responsibility ed. T.D. Morgan and R.D. Rotunda (Mineola, N.Y.: Foundation Press, 1985).
- Emphasis added. “Professional Responsibility,” pp. 1164–1169. Cf. Alan H. Goldman,The Moral Foundations of Professional Ethics (Totowa, N.J.: Rowman and Littlefield, 1980); Andrew L. Kaufman, “Book Review of Alan H. Goldman, The Moral Foundations of Professional Ethics...”Harvard Law Review 94 (1981): 1504–1517.
- Alan A. Stone, “The Myth of Advocacy,”Hospital and Community Psychiatry 30 (1979): 819.
- Deborah Rhode, “Why the ABA Bothers: A Functional Perspective on Professional Codes,”Texas Law Review 59 (1981): 693n.
- Wasserstrom, “Lawyers as Professionals,” p. 14. Cf. Leon R. Kass, “Regarding the End of Medicine and the Pursuit of Health,”The Public Interest No. 40 (summer 1975): 11–42.
- Steven Brill, “Headnotes: Uncle Warren, (See Note 25), p. 1.
- The inclination of modern jurists to associate lawyers with doctors: Plato's response inGorgias 464–465
The Journal of Medical Humanities and Bioethics
Volume 9, Issue 1 , pp 17-31
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- 1. the Graduate School of Education, University of Rochester, 14267, Rochester, New York