Physicians and Obligatory Social Activism
Dagi, T. Forcht
Journal of Medical Humanities and Bioethics. 1988 Spring/Summer; 9(1): 50-59.
This essay examines the claim that physicians have a special obligation to engage in social and political activism. Four ethical paradigms are considered. Two paradigms, the preventive medicine and the social medicine models, embody a limited professional obligation to advocate the priority of health in society; the justification for a more aggressive stance is limited by the failings of paternalism. The radical model and the heroic model speak to issues of personal virtue rather than professional obligation; they are not strictly comparable.