Medical practitioners have traditionally seen themselves as part of an international community with shared and unifying scientific and ethical goals in the treatment of disease, the promotion of health, and the protection of life. This shared mission is underpinned by explicit acceptance of traditional concepts of medical morality, and by an implied link between individual human rights and the ethics of medical practice long enshrined in a range of World Medical Association and other medical codes. These have been powerful instruments exhorting individual practitioners to promote health and to defend universal principles in order to protect their patients and the physician-patient relationship even in the face of authoritarian state coercion and imposed national ideologies and policies. There has been widespread support for this approach and this should be intensified.
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DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0963180100008148
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