The ethical behaviour of doctors has been influenced by recent social and political changes. This paper discusses some of the changes which may have resulted from two far-reaching changes, a major political change, the nationalisation of medicine in the National Health Service (NHS), and a social change, the establishment of the permissive society. Some of the ethical consequences of these changes which are not considered of benefit to the profession or its patients are discussed. The recognition of these changes and their open debate is now essential so that the restitution of professional standards may take place.
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