Vijay Rajput, MD
Potential Financial Conflicts of Interest: None disclosed.
Rajput V. Position Paper: Ethics Manual. Ann Intern Med. 2005;143:618. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-143-8-200510180-00024
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2005;143(8):618.
TO THE EDITOR:
The fifth edition of the American College of Physicians (ACP) Ethics Manual (1) is well-written by 2 distinguished and dedicated lawyers. I was disheartened, however, that although more than 100 000 internists are members of this organization and several serve on the College's Ethics and Human Rights Committee, not a single soul was strong enough to come out as a coauthor for this manual. If I may say, intervention by interpreters of the law is an overly blunt way of tackling the delicate ethical dilemmas that internists must face as individual human beings who are guided by personal experiences and by prevailing public and professional standards. We as internists must confront and resolve the day-to-day ethical issues of medical practice—issues that can be learned by the lawyers but are best understood by physicians. The relationship between law and medicine has been constrained by outside influences, and the conduct of doctors is circumscribed by the public conscience. A physician's name among the authors could have validated both internist and public consciences together.
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