Ethics in sports medicine

Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2000 Sep;(378):50-60. doi: 10.1097/00003086-200009000-00009.


Sports medicine physicians are not exempt from the ethical challenges of medical practice merely because their patients are robust and healthy. In fact, precisely because the patients with sports injuries are so healthy the moral issues remain subtle. Many ethical issues in sports medicine come about because the traditional relationship between doctor and patient is altered or absent. In the current review, several routine topics in biomedical ethics, including doctor and patient confidentiality, informed consent, the care of minors, medical advertising and use of innovative treatments, will be studied from the sports medicine perspective. Hypothetical case histories will be presented, along with an analysis of the underlying ethical issues. The goal of this analysis is not to offer answers to these moral questions, but to increase awareness and promote contemplation of the correct course of action.

MeSH terms

  • Athletic Injuries / therapy
  • Confidentiality
  • Dangerous Behavior
  • Ethics, Medical*
  • Humans
  • Informed Consent
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Sports Medicine*