The Politics of Physicians' Responsibility in Epidemics: A Note on History
Fox, Daniel M.
Hastings Center Report. 1988 Apr/May; 18(2): S5-S10.
Fox examines the history of the behavior of the medical profession in Europe and the United States during epidemics of contagious diseases. Guilds, religious orders, hospitals, and the state routinely had physicians under contract. During epidemics, civic leaders and later governmental bodies used economic and social incentives and disincentives to recruit additional doctors. Plague outbreaks seem to have raised professional consciousness in that ethical codes and treatises proliferated, but ethical concern was still less a motive than economic interest or fear of loss of status. Fox maintains that despite changes over the centuries in medical practice and in the social position of physicians, there has been continuity in how the profession responds to the threat of contagion. He predicts that professional accommodation to civic obligation will continue, and that physicians who take the lead in AIDS treatment will be rewarded with access to research funds and academic status. (KIE abstract)
Aids; Ancient History; Coercion; Communicable Diseases; Consciousness; Contracts; Doctors; Epidemiology; Ethics; Ethical Codes; Health; Health Care; Health Care Delivery; Historical Aspects; Hospitals; Incentives; International Aspects; Medical Ethics; Medicine; Moral Obligations; Physician's Role; Physicians; Politics; Public Health; Quarantine; Refusal to Treat; Remuneration; Research; Selection for Treatment;
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