Medical Ethics and Hospital Review Boards
The responsibilities and risks that physicians and other medical personnel should assume regarding living and dying have received considerable discussion. The medical profession characterizes its major responsibilities to be caring, healing, and preserving life, and argued that medical personnel should not kill people actively under any circumstances. The explicit professional code of conduct adopted by the medical profession is the 2,500-year-old Hippocratic Oath, which Rachels (1986) characterized as being a historical relic rather than an actual guide. The Hippocratic Oath construes the physician to be near godliness, as the medical anthropologist, Konner (who is both an M.D. and Ph.D.), recounted in his superb book, Medicine at the Crossroads (1993). Konner enumerated recommendations in the Oath that enhance the exalted image of the physician, including those to maintain an imposing appearance and mode of dress, to use decisive utterances, and to speak with great brevity. The Oath also recommended that all discussion should be conducted calmly and that most things should be concealed from the patient, with nothing being revealed of the patient’s future or present condition.
KeywordsMedical Profession Quality Adjust Life Year Medical Personnel Criminal Prosecution Hippocratic Oath
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