Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 7 (1) (1986)
The thesis of the paper is that For Profit Hospitals are morally inappropriate health care delivery institutions. The thesis is established first by elaborating on the beneficent nature of medicine, hospitals, and the physician/patient relationship. The primary obligation of the physician, who draws on the resources of medicine and the hospitals, is to restore personal autonomy that is diminished by illness and suffering within the constraints of the canon of loyalty that frames the physician patient relationship. Hospitals have historically played the role of facilitator enhancing a physician's ability to administer treatment. Next it is argued that For Profit Hospitals may neglect the role of facilitator. This neglect may occur given the institutions' motivations to return a profit to investors by exploiting the patient/physician relationship. This exploitation is clearly shown to be contrary to the canon of loyalty that ought to exist between the patient and physician.
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