Lessons From Nuremberg: Ethical and Social Responsibilities for Health Care Professionals, Health Care Organizations, and Medical Journals

Kenneth K. Vuylsteke, JD
JAMA. 1997;277(9):711. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03540330033021.
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To the Editor.  —As an attorney who regularly represents individuals who have been injured due to the denial of care by tightly managed health maintenance organizations, I, like Dr Sidel, am concerned that the use of medicine to capture and control a social agenda has important implications for social policy, the role of physicians, and public health.1 A health care system that promotes the denial of care to patients to increase corporate profits is viewed by many to be a recent phenomenon.2 However, a health care system that pressures physicians to abandon their fiduciary relationship with their patients is not unprecedented.We need to remember the lessons learned at Nuremberg do not only apply to the Nazi physicians prosecuted there. We are indeed not immune from seduction by social, political, or economic organizations that seek to corrupt medicine for their own agendas. Accordingly, 1 addition to Dr Seidelman's thoughtful review of


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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.
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