The Moral Physician by Christopher Tollefsen

Book Review

The Moral Physician

Practicing Medicine and Ethics: Integrating Wisdom, Conscience, and Goals of Care
by Lauris Christopher Kaldjian
Cambridge University Press, 2014
(304 pages, $90.00, hardcover)

reviewed by Christopher Tollefsen

Lauris Kaldjian, a practicing physician and director of the Program in Bioethics and Humanities at the University of Iowa, has written a book of crucial importance to health care practitioners concerned with the protection of conscience as well as the protection of patients. The conjoined emphasis is important: increasingly, the assertion of patient autonomy is viewed as a trump against physician conscience. Where physicians have moral objections to patient requests, those objections, it is said, should be considered private. Thus, the medical profession effects the same separation characteristic of political liberalism: that between public and private reason and reasons.

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