Public Health Doctors' Ancillary-Care Obligations

Public Health Ethics 3 (1):63-67 (2010)
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This comment on the case presented in ‘Cholera and Nothing More’ argues that the physicians at this public-health centre did not have an ordinary clinician's obligations to promote the health of the people who came to them for care, as they were instead set up to serve a laudable and urgent public-health goal, namely, controlling a cholera outbreak. It argues that, nonetheless, these physicians did have some limited moral duties to care for other diseases they encountered—some ancillary-care duties—arising from their voluntarily entering into a kind of intimate relationship with the patients they took in, one in which those patients effectively waive certain rights to bodily and medical privacy



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Henry S. Richardson
Georgetown University

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