The Limitations of Secular Medical Ethics

By Gary S. Fischer, MD
General Internal Medicine Fellow, University of Pittsburgh

“As I approach the end of fellowship training in medical ethics, I am sadly coming to the conclusion that conventional, secular medical ethics is incapable of providing us answers to some crucial moral problems in health care. Contemporary "medical ethics," as it is taught in the university and written about in journals, emphasizes patients' rights and provides important rules of conduct for health care providers -- but necessarily fails to help patients determine what course of action they are morally bound to pursue.”

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