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Philos Ethics Humanit Med. 2009 Sep 8;4:13. doi: 10.1186/1747-5341-4-13.

Time for a unified approach to medical ethics.

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Global Neuroscience Initiative Foundation, Los Angeles, CA, USA.


A code of ethics is used by individuals to justify their actions within an environment. Medical professionals require a keen understanding of specific ethical codes due to the potential consequences of their actions. Over the past thirty years there has been an increase in the scope and depth of ethics instruction in the medical profession; however the teaching of these codes is still highly variable. This inconsistency in implementation is problematic both for the medical practitioner and for the patient; without standardized training, neither party can be assured of the practitioner's overall depth of knowledge. Within the field of ethics certain principles have reached a consensus of importance. Incorporation of these concepts in meaningful ways via a consistent curriculum would provide students with an appropriate skill set for navigating their ethical environment. Moreover, this curriculum should also be extended to residents and professionals who may have missed formal ethical training. This would provide a consistent framework of knowledge for practitioners, creating a basis for clear judgment of complex issues.

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