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This article identifies the ethical principles that have guided medicine since antiquity: beneficence, primum non noeere, patient autonomy, and respect for life and the quality of life. The author’s basic premise is that many recently publicized ethical dilemmas are really not dilemmas—the knowledge of what is good or evil is not confused, contradictory, or absent. Instead, medicine s concern and responsibility to its patients is being clouded by legal, governmental, or societal concerns.
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