"Life Is Short, Medicine Is Long": Reflections on a Bioethical Insight
Jonsen, Albert R.
Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 2006 December; 31(6): 667-673
The famous first aphorism of Hippocrates, "Life is short, the art is long" was long considered a perfect summary of medical ethics. Modern physicians find the words impossible to understand. But it can be interpreted as a fundamental insight into the ethical problems of modern medicine. The technology of modern scientific medicine can sustain life, even when life is losing its vitality. How should decisions be made about the use of technology and by whom? This is the incessant question of modern medical ethics.