Journal of Medical Humanities 14 (3):137-147 (1993)

The military might of the modern era poses devastating threats to humankind. Wars result from struggles for material or ideological power. In this context the probability of flouting agreements made during peaceful times is great. The rights of victims and the rights of medical personnel are vulnerable to State and military momentum in the quest for sovereignty. Scholars, scientists and physicians enjoy little enough influence during times of peace and we should be sanguine about their influence during war. But we also must avoid becoming co-opted by partisan political forces. The universal ideals for which we strive, need to be cherished and kept central in our field of vision if we are to rise above man's basest instincts and if we are to preserve professional integrity, individuality and humanitarian concern for the sanctity of life — even the lives of our foes who are engaged in battle against us. Such compassion also recognizes the coercion implicit in recruiting persons into wars they detest and which pits them against their own image. Man's inhumanity to man, most evident during war, must not be allowed to pervade the sanctuary of medical care. Health professionals must constantly be encouraged to serve humankind with empathy and compassion and great social effort needs to be expended to facilitate this role globally and under all conditions
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DOI 10.1007/BF01141686
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Moral Discourse About Medicine: A Variety of Forms.James M. Gustafson - 1990 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 15 (2):125-142.

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