Excerpt From Medical Ethics: Real-World Application By Afshin Nasser

What is Medical Ethics?

One of the most important steps in becoming a doctor is to take the Hippocratic oath, a promise to “first, do no harm.” As a matter of fact, the first “do no harm” is attributed to “Of the Epidemics” one of Hippocrates’ works, stating, “...the physician must be able to tell the antecedents, know the present, and foretell the future; [the physician] must mediate these findings, and have two special objects in view with regard to disease, namely, to do good or to do no harm.”

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One of the most important steps in becoming a doctor is to take the Hippocratic oath, a promise to “first, do no harm.” As a matter of fact, the first “do no harm” is attributed to “Of the Epidemics” one of Hippocrates’ works, stating, “…the physician must be able to tell the antecedents, know the present, and foretell the future; [the physician] must mediate these findings, and have two special objects in view with regard to disease, namely, to do good or to do no harm.”

What is Medical Ethics?

For the sake of argument let us consider that matters of ethics appear to be innate, and not studied. This presumption is logical, as ethics and “do no wrong” are learned at home, from family, friends, and mentors. However, society and medical boards need to have guidelines to adhere to for justice to be served, and thus, to protect the public.

The subject matter, admittedly, is not the most exciting, and the content may appear basic or obvious. Keep in mind that everyone has a violation potential which can jeopardize his/her medical license. Presenting these cases in clinical settings will enhance a higher level of engagement and learning through reflection.

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State Medical Boards

The medical board’s duty is to protect the public, not the physician. State medical boards today focus on licensed physicians who violate professional ethics, and their mandate has significantly evolved to focus on disciplining physicians.

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Boundary Violation

Boundaries create a therapeutic distance between physician and patient and clarify their respective roles and expectations. Boundaries define limits of the therapeutic relationship.

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Medical Ethics: Real-World Application By Afshin Nasser

You may have acquired this book as a result of conflicts with peers, administrators, patients, or State Medical Boards, where the outcomes of those interactions have left you wondering, “…what if I had done things differently?”

In that case, I hope that this book answers some of your questions and guides you with regards to any future quandaries you may encounter.


If you are a healthcare worker seeking to understand the subject of medical ethics, then I hope this book helps you acquire the clarity you seek.
If you are an individual simply curious about medical ethics, then I raise my hat to you for your pursuit of knowledge.