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Because patients are persons in almost all cases—there is, after all, some question with regard to the status of the fetus, the profoundly comatose, and those who show extreme mental incompetence-and since the concept of the person necessarily introduces the domain of the moral, it follows that medicine, the treatment and care of persons by persons, is inherently an ethical enterprise. Because ethics, or moral philosophy, is a bona fide branch of speculative philosophy, it follows that medicine is an intrinsically philosophical undertaking as well—extending even beyond the domain of the moral issues in patient care.
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Philosophy in Medicine: Conceptual and Ethical Issues in Medicine and Psychiatry.. Ann Intern Med. 1982;97:635-636. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-97-4-635
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1982;97(4):635-636.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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