Physician Patient

The Morality of Medical Practice

This superb article by James L. Doenges, MD titled “Third Party” Interference, the Practice of Medicine, and the Market Economy” was originally distributed by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) in 1959 and reprinted in the Spring 2020 edition of the AAPS Journal.
The morality of the practice of medicine is much older than its scientific basis. In the final analysis, says Dr. Doenges, “The patient-physician relationship …is made possible only through an appreciation of the moral responsibility of¬†both¬†individuals… No one can remove the personal responsibility of each to the other… The key to good diagnosis is good, honest, and complete history. The knowledge that information confided to the physician will not be divulged to others permits even the most timid patient to give the most personal, intimate, and confidential information to his physician…Medical care is not a mechanical function…Every “Third party” medical program is dishonest because through classification, fixed fees and regulations it indicates to all that illness can be standardized. This position is false because it ignores individual variations as diagnostic requirements, time, complications, circumstances of treatment, response to treatment, and severity of the disease. All medical teaching, tradition, and experience repudiates this idea…Third party medical programs inevitably result in falsification of records.”

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