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Must doctors save their patients?
  1. J Harris

    Abstract

    Do doctors and other medical staff have an obligation to treat those who need their help? This paper assumes no legal or contractual obligations but attempts to discover whether there is any general moral obligation to treat those in need. In particular the questions of whether or not the obligation that falls on medical staff is different from that of others and of whether doctors are more blameworthy than others if they fail to treat patients are examined. Finally we look at the question of the burden of this obligation and at the responsibility of society to mitigate its hardships.

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