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Medical Ethicsa 

Medical Ethicsa
Chapter:
Medical Ethicsa
Author(s):

Keith M. Swetz

and C. Christopher Hook

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190464868.003.0029
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date: 19 October 2019

Medicine is first and foremost a relationship—a coming together of a patient, who is ill or has specific needs, and a physician, whose goal is to help the patient. The physician-patient relationship is a fiduciary relationship; physicians have knowledge, skills, and privileges that patients do not have. In turn, patients trust that physicians act in their patients’ best interests. Medical ethics consists of a set of principles and systematic methods that guide physicians on how they ought to act in their relationships with patients and others and how to resolve moral problems that arise in the care of patients.

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