Affecting the Body and Transforming Desire: The Treatment of Suffering as the End of Medicine

Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 19 (4):265-278 (2012)
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I will apply dietetic measures for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgment. I will keep them from harm and injustice. The Hippocratic Oath formulates the ethical principle of medical beneficence and its negative formulation non-maleficence. It relates medical ethics to the traditional end of medicine, that is, to heal, or to make whole. First and foremost, the duty of the physician is to heal, and if this is not possible at least not to harm. This ethical principle helped to establish the necessary trust between physician and patient in the pre-modern era when most of medicine was nothing more than a set of placebos (Shapiro 1960). Beginning in the seventeenth-century, Western ..



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