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Gaceta médica de México

versión impresa ISSN 0016-3813


DE MICHELI-SERRA, Alfredo. Professional Ethics of Physicians. Gac. Méd. Méx [online]. 2004, vol.140, n.1, pp.89-92. ISSN 0016-3813.

Sócrates is considered the great classic moralist, although he was not the first to take care of man and morality. Aristotele instituted ethics as an autonomous science and clearly defined its fields, its methods and its purposes, formulating the concept of "happy medium". In the Aristotelian methodology we find traces of Hippocrates, who belived that the physician must always consider the peculiar aspects and that the individual characteristics 'determinations can be reached by sensitivity. Once these particularities have been proved, the physician must relay on the "happy medium". Only Stoics could discover, and gradually elaborate, the concept of natural law. Apparently they were the first to establish the classic distinction between the theorical or ideal morality and the practical morality, which is accessible to all people. They refused to compare wisdom, entirely turned inward, with the medical art, which does not constitute an aim by itself. Modern authors assert that, with stoicism, the notion we can denominated wisdom's humanism rised. Today it is admitted that "medicine is more than simply learning medical data... Physicians must have a wisdom learned from human finitude. They will need this wisdom to tackle the health care policy debates in the nest decades ". This would be a major cultural undertaking.

Palabras llave : Aristotelian ethics; stoical ethics; wisdom; professional ethics; perspectives of medical ethics.

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