This book will be of value to individuals interested in the history of medicine and the role that codes of ethics have played in that history, in the ethical issues that arise in the promulgation of codes of ethics, and in the way codes of ethics can and can't help us deal with changes brought about by managed care and by breakthroughs in medical technology.
This volume gives a good example of how a discussion of the history of medical ethics can provide the grounding for a well-informed debate on present and future problems in professional ethics and health care.
A sophisticated accoutn of the social and historical processes shaping the AMA Code of Ethics from the late 17th century to the present day.
Oaths embody a distinctive form of ethics. They are activated by the performative utterance 'I swear' and are couched in the first person singular. All these features make them inherently personal. Codes, by contrast, are collaborative. The transition from the personal ethics of oaths to the professional ethics of codes thus marks a radical transition from personally interpreted 'gentlemanly' ethics to collaboratively interpreted professional ethics—a transition so radical that it is properly described as a revolution.