Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics

, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 21–24 | Cite as

Medical ethics in an era of bioethics: Resetting the medical profession’s compass

  • Edmund D. PellegrinoEmail author


What it means to be a medical professional has been defined by medical ethicists throughout history and remains a contemporary concern addressed by this paper. A medical professional is generally considered to be one who makes a public promise to fulfill the ethical obligations expressed in the Hippocratic Code. This presentation summarizes the history of medical professionalism and refocuses attention on the interpersonal relationship of doctor and patient. This keynote address was delivered at the Founders of Bioethics International Congress (June, 2010).


Medical professionalism Compassion Medical practice Medical ethics Patient Bioethics 


  1. 1.
    Pellegrino, Edmund D., and Alice A. Pellegrino. 1988. Humanism and ethics in Roman medicine: Translation and commentary on a text of Scribonius Largus. Literature and Medicine 7: 22–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Kennedy Institute of EthicsGeorgetown UniversityWashingtonUSA

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