Doctors and Ethics

The Historical Setting of Professional Ethics


Medical ethics has been a constant adjunct of Western medicine from its origins in Greek times. Although the Hippocratic Oath has been intensely studied, until recently there has been very little historical work on medical ethics between the Oath and Thomas Percival's Medical Ethics of 1803, which is commonly thought of as the first treatise on modern medical ethics. This volume brings together original research which throws new light on how standards of behaviour for medical practitioners were articulated in the different religious, political and social as well as medical contexts from the classical period until the nineteenth century. Its ten essays will place the early history of medical ethics into the framework of the new social and intellectual history of medicine that has been developed in the last ten years.

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Andrew Wear is lecturer in the History of Medicine at the Wellcome Institute. He has research interests in early modern medicine and in colonial and empire medicine.

Johanna Geyer-Kordesch is Director of the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine, University of Glasgow, Scotland. Her area of expertise is eighteenth-century European Medicine. She was general secretary to the Cambridge Medical Ethics Forum 1989-92. She is continuing work on forensic and medical case histories both in regards to witchcraft and infanticide. Currently she is also interested in case histories as life narratives and their narratives and their relation to periodical writings and literary forms in the Enlightenment.

Roger French taught History and Philosophy of Science in the universities of Leicester and Aberdeen, after a D.Phil in Oxford, and since 1975 has been Director of the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine in Cambridge, where he is the University Lecturer in the History of Medicine. He has published on a range of topics from Greek texts to nineteenth century reform in medicine. He is general Editor of a series of books on science in antiquity with Routledge and part editor of a series on history of medicine with Cambridge University Pres. Current research interests include William Harvey and medieval natural philosophy.
Notes on Contributors

1. Beyond the Hippocratic Oath

2. Medical Ethics in Transition in the Latin Medicine of the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries: New Prospects on the Physician-Patient Relationship and the Doctor's Fee

3. The Medical Ethics of Gabriele de Zerbi

4. Medical Ethics in Early Modern England
Andrew WEAR

5. Conflicting Duties: Plague and the Obligations of Early Modern Physicians Towards Patients and Commonwealth in England and The Netherlands

6. Ethics in the Eighteenth Century: Hoffmann in Halle

7. Infanticide and Medico-legal Ethics in Eighteenth Century Prussia

8. The Ethical Discourse on Animal Experimentation, 1650-1900
Andreas-Holger MAEHLE

9. Thomas Gisborne: Physicians, Christians and Gentlemen

10. Does a Certificate of Lunacy Affect a Patient's Ethical Status? Psychiatric Paternalism and its Critics in Victorian England
Michael CLARK