on the Wisdom of the Good Doctor Edmund Pellegrino
"Some men think the earth is round; others think it flat. If it is flat, will the king's command make it round? And if it is round, will the king's command flatten it?"
—Thomas More, in A Man for All Seasons by Robert Bolt
When I joined the faculty at Georgetown University Medical Center nearly two decades ago, the principles and practice of medicine seemed to me to be in substantial continuity and accord, both technically and ethically, with the same of my father's era. Dad had been a general practitioner of the old school who, unaffected by the future blessings and curses of the Electronic Medical Record and of much regulatory oversight, was able to sit with his patients in his office, at the hospital, or in their homes, to look them in the eye, and to engage them with state-of-the art science and deep compassion.
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Allen H. Roberts II M.D., M.Div., M.A., is Professor of Clinical Medicine and Chair of the Clinical Ethics Committee at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D. C.
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