Doctors' Dilemmas: Medical Ethics and Contemporary Science

James M. Humber, PhD
JAMA. 1985;254(21):3110. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03360210126051.
Text Size: A A A
Published online


While reading this text I experienced severe ambivalence. On the one hand, the authors achieve their stated purpose; on the other hand, their purpose is such that it virtually requires superficiality. Hence my ambivalence.

In the preface, the authors state their purpose:

We think that these issues [in medical ethics] should be argued in a reasoned, reasonable manner that ordinary people can understand so that they too can participate in the determination of a framework which can guide the application of medical science. Our book is aimed at the interested public.... (page ix)

The authors accomplish this purpose. Their text is well written, easily understandable, and a palatable introduction to many of the issues troubling medical ethicists today, eg, genetic engineering, euthanasia, abortion, brain death, tissue transplants, artificial insemination, and genetic screening. In addition, the authors have appended ethical codes such as the Hippocratic Oath, the International Code of Medical


Sign In to Access Full Content

Don't have Access?

Register and get free email Table of Contents alerts, saved searches, PowerPoint downloads, CME quizzes, and more

Subscribe for full-text access to content from 1998 forward and a host of useful features

Activate your current subscription (AMA members and current subscribers)

Purchase Online Access to this article for 24 hours




Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Sign In to Access Full Content

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.