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William May presents images primarily drawn from literature to give substance to otherwise abstract concepts of the idealism of medicine. The introductory discussion of image and metaphor has valuable application beyond this book.
The image of the healer as technician is the prism through which the other persona (parent, fighter, covenanter, and teacher) can be viewed critically. "Excellent technical performance becomes the effective center of the professional ethic." Citing Hemingway, May pinpoints the tragic flaw of this image: "The bullfighter, the wartime lover, the expatriate—all alike-must live by a code that eschews involvement; . . .death terminates. But this does
The Physician's Covenant: Images of the Healer in Medical Ethics.. Ann Intern Med. ;102:281–282. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-102-2-281_3
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1985;102(2):281-282.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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