Why Medical Ethics?

Francis Christian

The recent proliferation in our medical schools and universities of “departments of medical ethics,” was a sure sign that the medical establishment had decided to redefine and mould medical ethics a;er its own ideas; and to move away from many centuries of ethics that had always spoken to physicians and nurses with a clear, universal and humane voice.

Every age regards itself as inheritor of a unique set of moral and ethical problems not confronting a previous age! The need for ethics however, is an implicit recognition that there is evil and wickedness present in human affairs (or a “wrong” way of doing things) and that we must choose the righteous and the good over the evil. The manifestation of evil (or the unethical) may have changed, but the heart of the problem does indeed reside in the human being, where evil originates. As the prophet Jeremiah pointed out more than 2,000 years ago, “the heart is desperately wicked above all things; who can know it?”

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